Friday, September 7, 2012

Spicy Pumpkin Peanut Soup

The weather isn't cooling off much yet but already I am craving soup. Having a guest this past weekend gave me a great excuse to make one of my favorites, Spicy Pumpkin Peanut Soup. This is something that can be put together pretty quickly or more fancy depending on how much time and energy you want to put into it. The more time spent, the deeper and more complex the flavors get.

Roasted red peppers can be purchased in a jar to save time but they are even better when done fresh. To do this: lay a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Halve a red pepper and put it skin-side-up on the foil. Put this under the broiler until the skin turns black. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Peel the skin off (should be very easy to do by hand) then chop.

Pumpkin Peanut Soup
Homemade chicken stock, fresh lemon juice, and fresh ground pepper are completely worth the extra effort. Homemade pumpkin puree didn't make a huge difference so if you aren't already making it for something else, the canned is just fine.

If you don't have an immersion blender, chop everything finely so it keeps the smooth consistency. Do not be crazy and put hot soup in a regular blender.  It's tough to learn things the messy way but the lessons sure do stick!  Anyway, onward to the soup!

Spicy Pumpkin Peanut Soup
From Women's Health Magazine
Makes 4 servings

2 tsp butter
1 small onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili pepper flakes (adjusted because I like it a little spicier, use half for not-spicy)
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
7 oz roasted red peppers, chopped (reserve 1 Tbsp for garnish) (1 whole red pepper)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (Adams brand or something organic)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream (optional, for serving)
2 Tbsp chopped roasted unsalted peanuts (optional, for serving)
2 Tbsp chopped scallion greens (optional, for serving)

1. Heat butter in a 4-quart NON-STICK soup pot over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring, until golden, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.

2. Add turmeric, paprika, and chili flakes; stir. Add pumpkin puree, broth, peppers, and peanut butter; whisk to incorporate and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes (or until ready to serve), then stir in sugar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Remove from heat.

3. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree until smooth. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with sour cream, peanuts, chopped peppers, and scallion greens.

Per serving: 270 cal, 18 g fat (4 g sat), 22 g carbs,
450 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 10 g protein
(Nutrition Facts from Women's Health)

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