Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Celery & Peanut Butter Soup

This is a rich and filling soup, and with some toast would make a complete meal. Still, in small portions it could also be served as a starter to more formal meal.

I looked at a number of peanut soup recipes before I devised this, and most of them seemed to call for milk or cream which struck me as excessive given that peanut butter is pretty filling on its own. I was also getting more of an oriental vibe from the idea, so I went with it. I thought the results were really good.

The peanut butter was purchased - I suppose I should mention that it was a peanut butter consisting solely of peanuts (a little salt would be okay); I've never seen the point of having peanut butter filled with extraneous not particularly healthy fats and extra sugar - but I was excited to be able to garnish the soup with some peanuts from our own garden. As usual, a pretty skimpy harvest, but we persevere. They went in very late. One of these years we will get it right, I hope.

4 to 8 servings
45 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

1 medium head celery (4 to 5 cups chopped)
3 or 4 large shallots
1" x 1" x 2" piece of ginger
4 to 6 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon flaked hot chiles
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 to 2 tablespoons tamari or soya sauce
chopped roasted peanuts to garnish (optional)

Trim the celery and wash it, and chop it fairly finely. Peel and chop the shallots finely. Peel and mince the ginger, and peel and mince the garlic.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the celery and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring regularly, until softened and reduced, but don't let it brown. Add the shallots and ginger, and continue cooking for another 3 or 4 minutes, until it too is softened and reduced, and perhaps slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute or so. Add the hot chile flakes and stir in well.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a good simmer. Cover and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the celery is fairly tender. Mix in the peanut butter until well dissolved and distributed throughout the soup. Season with the soy sauce, the exact amount depending on how salty the chicken stock was to start with, and how salty you would like the soup.

Serve garnished with a spoonful of chopped roasted peanuts if you like.

Last year at this time I made Sweet & Sour Cabbage and Ajvar. Again, my Ajvar was made a good 2 weeks ago this year... what a funny season it has been. 


Tiffany Mayer said...

This might actually make me like celery. I have a carrot soup recipe similar to this. It's delicious.

Ferdzy said...

Wot, don't like celery? Very strange. (Actually I know a lot of people aren't crazy about it. I've always thought it very underrated.)

By the way, when I was contemplating handing out "Leibster" awards, your name was one that occurred to me. If you would like to pick that up, please feel free...