Tuesday, March 11, 2008

georgia peanut soup

Georgia Peanut Soup (large)

On Saturday evening I watched The Pursuit of Happyness. Now I'm the kind of person who can watch a movie, feel inspired to make change in my life, and actually make it, so as I was lying in bed that night, I decided that I wasn't doing enough of the things in life that make me happy. (Given that I live alone and can do whatever I want all the time, it makes one wonder how this is possible.) Sunday, therefore, would be a day of change.

I went to church. Attending services alone is not my preference, but it is, indeed, better than not going at all. (And somewhere I know I have a few family members who are breathing a big sigh of relief right now....)

I went for a walk. I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the county and within walking distance of all kinds of interesting things, so I really should do more of this.

I picked up Anna Karenina again. I set her down two years ago when I developed a problem with my eyes, so I think it's high time to finish the story.

I went to the gym. My gym attendance has been hit-or-miss since the gym I loved closed and my membership was transfered to the place down the street, but I really do like working out and the new place isn't bad, so I suppose it's time to move on.

I made a few changes, and guess what? I'm happier now than I was on Saturday. It's like my own little mini, mid-month revolution. Not bad.

One thing that was not on my list of changes was to spend more time cooking (I'm quite happy with my kitchen attendance as it is). I saw a picture of this soup in the February edition of a little blogging event called Does My Blog Look Good in This?, and found it intriguing enough to give the recipe a try. The soup came out a little sweeter than what I was in the mood for on Sunday, so the 4 tablespoons of tomato paste was a last-ditch effort on my part to squeeze in a little savory. If I make this again, I might even throw in a can or two of crushed tomatoes as well. (I would have used them this time, but I was out.)

This is an interesting soup that seems to improve with time. I wasn't crazy about it right off the stove on Sunday, but I found myself looking forward to a cup with my dinner today. Additionally, the texture contrast between the soup and the roasted peanuts on top is fantastic, so I think I'll carry that garnishing trick over to a few other soups in the future.

[Postscript: This soup really did get better by the day. I made it on a Sunday, and by Wednesday I was really craving it. I'm definitely glad I added the tomato paste for a savory note. This recipe was submitted for the March edition of a vegetarian soup blogging event call No Croutons Required, hosted this month by Tinned Tomatoes.]

Georgia Peanut Soup
Adapted from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup, via Jennie at Straight from the Farm
Serves 6

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
3 celery stalks, diced
4 cups vegetable stock
7 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup corn kernels
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Roasted, salted peanuts for garnish

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt and cook for another minute.

Add the bell pepper, carrots, potatoes, and celery to the pot. Season lightly with a little salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetable stock, peanut butter, tomato paste, and corn, stirring until thoroughly combined.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning one last time, sprinkle with the roasted peanuts, and serve.


  1. This sounds amazing! I posted about a spicy tomato soup with PB in it that my hubby and I love, so I'm sure I'd like this one, too. :)

  2. I enjoy this style soup, makes me think of Thai food with the spice and peanut butter.

  3. I agree that it is (deliciously) reminiscent of Thai food.

    I polished off the last of this soup tonight (I froze half of it) and I'm definitely disappointed it's gone!