Today: Please give a big TNS welcome to Everybody Likes Sandwiches, this year’s Bloggie winner for best Canadian blog. It’s rainy and bleak here, so this soup seems fitting (although, to be frank, this photo could have used a chive). When you’re done, why not read the week’s guest posts from some other kick-ass bloggers, if you haven’t already? Which you should have. (If you’re wondering why all the guests: go here.) And remember: Hobo Monday is STILL ON.

While Michelle takes a much-needed brain-freeze, I’m filling in for jury duty. Hi I’m Kickpleat from Everybody Likes Sandwiches and I thought I’d share this recipe with a whole new crowd of peepers. The soup may be ugly, but don’t be a hater. It’s fucking amazing. Trust me, I’m beautiful.

Sometimes, things just aren’t all that pretty, but you love them anyway. Pugs, crying babies and hideous floral couches? There’s something for everyone! And here we have this peanut noodle soup. Attractive? Absolutely not. Delicious? Oh sweet jebus, yes!

First off, I should note that I’m a fan of peanut butter. It’s rich (ie. fattening) and it’s perfectly acceptable to eat it at midnight using just a spoon wearing only your skivvies. It’s shameful and it’s definitely not pretty. Using peanut butter in cooking isn’t unusual. I love dipping Thai chicken skewers in a spicy peanut dip, my favorite Rebar Cookbook soup recipe is chock full of peanut butter, and I’ve even recreated a local vegan restaurant’s “spicy peanut” pasta sauce. So when I had a random assortment of very unsexy vegetables in the crisper, I figured peanut butter would make an ideal companion.

Peanut butter may not give this soup beauty, but it gives richness in spades. There’s enough spice and heat from the chilis and ginger and it’s chock full of healthy vegetables to counteract all that fatty PB. It’s also quick to whip up and please feel free to add in or subtract based on what you have in the crisper….this recipe is infinitely adaptable. Eat it blind-folded if you must, you will love this soup hard.

peanut noodle vegetable soup
1 t olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 T ginger, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t red chili pepper flakes
salt & pepper
2-3 c chopped cabbage
1 yam, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
3 c vegetable stock or water
1/4 c natural peanut butter
2 squares of vermicelli rice noodles
1 lime, cut into wedges
a few dashes of sriracha

1. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil over med-high heat until fragrant. Add in spices and vegetables and let ’em sweat a bit. Cover vegetables with stock and cover pot with lid, letting the vegetables simmer away under the vegetables become tender, about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil, turn off the heat and let the rice noodles soak until almost tender. Drain and set aside.

3. Add the peanut butter into the soup, stirring until peanut butter melts into the liquid and gets creamy. Add in noodles and stir gently so everything is all lovingly mixed together. Ladle into bowls and squeeze some lime juice over top before serving and a few dashes of sriracha if you like things hot.