16 February 2007
At least there were peanuts.
Arriving home after surviving 4 days of airport perdition (and the airline is still equivocating on reimbursement, bah!), I was in need of a solid home cooked meal. Something easy and comforting. Since my short trip had turned into almost seven days, I had some nasty surprises waiting in the refrigerator: soured milk and moldy ricotta cheese. After a quick cleaning of the fridge, I was left with some pretty bare shelves, and venturing out into the snowy, slushy streets seemed too much to bear.
Luckily, I remembered a recipe I had clipped a while ago for tomato-peanut butter soup. One of those things made with pantry staples that I always mean to make but never get around to. A can of tomatoes, a scoop of peanut butter, a pinch of good curry powder, and a short simmer later and my spirits were beginning to be revived. As I spooned the nice thick soup into my bowl, I remembered the packet of peanuts from the plane which I had stuck in my bag. Sprinkled on top, the crunch of the peanuts pulled the soup together perfectly, though don't expect me to go thanking the airlines any time soon.
If you are a peanut butter fiend like myself, I recommend you increase the peanut butter to your liking.
1 tbl peanut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp each cumin, coriander, and curry powder
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes
2 carrots, chopped into small pieces
2 cups hot water or stock
1/3 cup peanut butter
peanuts, for serving
In a medium pot, saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in the peanut oil. Stir in the spices and cook until the onion is softened. Add the tomatoes, carrots, and 1 cup of the water or stock. Simmer the mixture over low heat about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the remaining cup of hot water/stock with the peanut butter and stir until smooth, then add the mixture to the pot. Simmer another 5 minutes to combine. Puree the soup until it is thickened but still has some chunks in it. Serve sprinkled with a good handful of peanuts.