West African peanut soup
This was one of the most popular recipes in the "Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant" cookbook, published more than 20 years ago. This version has been simplified for the updated "Moosewood Restaurant Favorites."
Make ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat over medium-low heat (and defrost first if needed).
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small celery rib, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce, plus more to taste
12 ounces sweet potatoes, peeled, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups tomato juice, preferably low-sodium
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish
1 scallion, white and green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices, for garnish
Pour the oil into a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the ginger and Tabasco. Add the sweet potatoes and water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the liquid is barely bubbling around the edges. Cover and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the tomato juice and peanut butter. Use an immersion (stick) blender to create a creamy, pureed soup. (If you use a blender instead, work in batches and remove the center knob in the lid, placing a paper towel over the opening to avoid splashups. Pour back into the soup pot.) Stir in the chopped cilantro and warm through. Taste, and add salt and/or hot sauce as needed.
Divide among bowls and top with the scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve hot.
Makes 4 1/2 to 5 cups (3 to 4 servings)
Nutrition per serving (based on 4): 320 calories, 10 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 390 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber, 10 g sugar
Adapted from "Moosewood Restaurant Favorites: The 250 Most-Requested, Naturally Delicious Recipes From One of America's Best-Loved Restaurants," by the Moosewood Collective (St. Martin's Press, 2013).