Now with over 1,000% more words!
Vicious headache has been conquered. Huzzah! Let the words flow forth!
Problem: I’m so used to writing as I go that writing a few days later feels distinctly uncomfortable. Thank god I have photos to remind me of what I did and ate, or it would otherwise be a void.
Thursday night was a foray into fall cooking, with spicy peanut soup from the Ultimate Soup Bible. I’ve had this book for oh, at least five years, and have never used it; I think I purchased it mostly because it was (and still is) large and inexpensive, so the cost-to-page ratio was heavily in my favor.
We started absently flipping through it while waiting for a delivery of Indian food that took TWO FUCKING HOURS, giving us lots of time to absently flip. The Soup Bible people do a pretty good job of making a wide range of hard-to-photograph soups look appetizing, foremost among them the symphony in brown that is spicy peanut soup.
Plus, we LOVE peanut sauce, because we are right-thinking people.
Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate; it turned distinctly warm and humid and summeresque and not at all conducive to soup-making or -eating. So we cranked the A/C up and did it anyway. Yeah, I know. We recycle, shut up.
Like all good things, spicy peanut soup starts with onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil. After a while, a palmful of chile powder goes in before you add the red peppers, carrots, potatoes and celery that you’ve painstakingly chopped into same-size pieces.
The veg cooks for just a few minutes before veggie stock, crunchy peanut butter and corn are added. The whole mess is then left to simmer and thicken for 20 minutes or so.
So really, spicy peanut soup is little more than a very hearty vegetable soup (VERY hearty – several pounds of vegetables and only 3 3/4 cups of stock) thickened up with some peanut butter. Not than I’m complaining about that.
The soup was slightly confusing at first, because you don’t expect your vegetable soup to taste like peanuts, but it grows on you and before you know it, I’d eaten a huge bowl and was painfully full of vegetable fiber. I will say that the soup could stand to have the spiciness ante upped a bit, and I added a pinch of cayenne to mine after tasting it, as well as a drizzle of sweet chile sauce that made the whole thing sing. But otherwise, if you like soup and you like peanut sauce and you like meals that come together in half an hour, you’ll like this. Just, you know, maybe wait until it gets a little bit colder, because the cost of blasting the A/C while you eat negates the thriftiness of the soup.
This coming Thursday, we sing the last hurrah of summer with sweet corn and tomatoes, which means it will end up being 40 degrees that day.