Hey, are you tired of vegetarian soups that are just brown gack? Well, you're in luck, this is somewhat orange-brown! Peanut soup is a traditional soup in many parts of Africa, there are many many variations and you can do about anything you want with this. I'll give you the basic idea here, this is definately something that lends itself to variation.

Ingredients

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a stock pot, and add in diced onions. Cook until they soften and begin to turn translucent. Throw some red pepper in there if you like. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook a few minutes. Add in carrots and sweet potato, both peeled and cut into small chunks and cook about 5 minutes. Add in vegetable stock (or water, if all else fails) and simmer until the carrots and potatoes are mushy (about 20 minutes).

Now comes the tricky part, you wanna blend all this. If you've got a stick blender, you are in good shape. Otherwise, use a food processor or blender. It just barely fit in my food processor. If all else fails, use a masher and just mash it up good. Add in the tomato juice or crushed tomatoes, and blend until it's all homogenous. Toss it back in the pan. Taste. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, old bay, whatever, until it tastes good.

Now add in the peanut butter. You have a choice here... All natural peanut butter has less sugar and will work better, but it's also not as smooth and creamy, so it doesn't blend in as well. Stuff like Jiffy will blend in better, but might make it too sweet. You might want to add the peanut butter in the blender to mix it in well. Or don't, it will still taste good.

Now, it's probably gonna be pretty thick at this point. Don't like it that thick? No problem, add some more water or stock. Heat it gently until it's nice and hot, but don't get it too hot or it's gonna shoot little splatters of soup all over your kitchen. If you want, add in a bit of heavy cream to make it nice and smooth.

To serve, pour a little cream in the center and top with some roasted peanuts and scallions. MMM MMM GOOD.

Makes about 6 big servings.

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