Spicy Indonesian Peanut Soup

15 Nov

For the longest time, soups (and salads for that matter too) were synonymous with diet food, to me.  I never truly enjoyed them and didn’t care much for them.  I could never have them for a meal; I tolerated them enough to have them soups as an appetizer before a big buffet lunch.  I could have never foreseen that I would be making soups regularly at home for dinner and ENJOY eating them.  Oh!  how we all change with time 🙂

When I was perusing the cooking section @ my local library, this book – Love Soup – seemed interesting enough to pick.  I glanced through this book and found quite  a few interesting recipes – some old, some new and some wild.  I have earmarked quite a few of them to try and this was the first one that I made.  If I can make a judgment call on 160 recipes based  on just 1, then this book is a keeper.  There are some recipes that sounds really exotic but you know it won’t work for various reasons and some that sounds exotic and plausible but doesn’t turn out as good.  This one sounds exotic (the soup is named “Indonesian”, for crying out loud 🙂 ), downright practical, comes together in a jiffy and tastes delicious.  So, now tell me, whats not to like about this soup and this book?

I picked this soup out of the scores of others that I had earmarked as I had all the ingredients needed for this soup handy – yes, I am cheap and lazy 🙂  But don’t ask me, why I bought parsnip, for the first time, during my previous grocery run – I have no clue either.  It was there, sitting fresh and pretty in a parsnip-y way and I couldn’t resist buying it.  Most often, I buy things out of a whim and scurry around for a recipe to use them but this time somehow, everything came together ever so correctly.

Not sure how many of you out there are true recipe followers but I am not.  Almost always, I cannot stay 100% true to a recipe, I always add a little something of my own to it, and in a weird way, feel that it completes my cooking experience.  The little twist that I added to the recipe makes it mine and personal.  This recipe has my twist as well and I have made a note of it, so that you can omit it, if you are not upto it.

Spicy Indonesian Peanut Soup

1 Parsnip – peeled & cubed
2 Sweet potato – peeled & cubed
1 Carrot – peeled & cubed
1/2 radish – peeled & cubed (this is my addition, omit it if you are not a radish fan)
1 onion – chopped finely
4-5 Garlic cloves – chopped finely
3-4″ ginger piece – chopped finely
2 green chillies
1 Tbsp – Tamarind paste
1 tsp coriander-cumin-red chillies powder (original recipe called for curry powder, and I don’t use this, just like most Indians)
A handful of curry leaves (original recipe called for coriander, since I didn’t have it @ home, substituted with curry leaves)
2 tsp – Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp – Lemon Juice

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients except peanut butter & lemon juice, add sufficient quantity of water, close the lid and let it cook for about 30 mins.  Alternatively, you can pressure cook this too.  (Note:  as per the original recipe, you have to boil the vegetables & saute onion, garlic, ginger, tamarind & the curry powder and then add the sauteed mixture to the vegetables.  I just boiled everything together so I can make it in a single pot.)

Once the veggies are fork tender, blend them well, preferably using a hand-blender.

Now add the peanut butter & lemon juice and let it simmer for about 5-10 mins. Believe it or not, that’s it and the soup is ready to devour!

Optionally, you can toast some peanuts and use it for garnishing the soup.


Posted by on November 15, 2010 in Cooking, One-pot Dish, Soup


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “Spicy Indonesian Peanut Soup

  1. shy

    November 16, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    huraay..will try this. can’t resist one pot dishes.
    yes, me too add my own touch. mostly as a substitute for an item that recipe called for but I don’t have in pantry( and don’t want to buy if I am not sure I use it regularly).
    when using cooker try this: in th cooker add oil, then saute ginger, garlic, onion, curry powder etc when done add all that veggies to cooker, close and pressure cook. saute also in one pot. the lazy me do this even for daal..

    • A-kay

      November 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM

      I do the sauteing and then cooking the veggies in the pressure cooker all the time (in fact, that is how I make my pulao too). Sauteing and then adding the veggies would be perfect, infact roasting them slightly before adding water will bring out more flavor. I was thinking of sauteing it separately and then half-way through changed my mind, hence dumped everything in the same pot and that tasted nice too.

      I knew you would like this right when I posted, so no surprises there :).

  2. utbtkids

    November 17, 2010 at 6:47 AM

    Spicy? Peanut? Yum, I am sold. Will try this some time.
    Parsnip, oven baked fries are awesome. Have you tried it? Comes out a little like french fries, great for cold winter weekend evenings.

    • A-kay

      November 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

      Oven baked fries with Parsnip, have never tried it before. Well the cold evenings are here so let’s bring out the parsnips 🙂

  3. Shankari

    November 19, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Never tried parsnip. Maybe I should buy for this soup. Do you think if I omit the sweet potatoes it would still taste good? Don’t care too much for them actually.

    • A-kay

      November 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

      I think sweet potatoes give the depth to the soup. If you don’t care for sweet potatoes, try potatoes.

  4. pallavi

    November 26, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    oh no i hate soups…. except the tangy tomato soup with crunchy breadcrumbs 😉

  5. varsha

    November 20, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Lovely recipe.
    Akay i have a bounty of turnips in my garden – but they don’t taste as sweet as other veggies -Any ideas what I could do?

    • A-kay

      November 21, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      a) You can make this soup (use turnip instead of parsnip) and it turns out just as well.
      b) If you have access to an oven, you can roast turnip (along with beets, carrots, onions etc) and make a nice roasted salad.
      c) You can shallow fry turnip and onion in lil butter, jeera and some dried herbs (you choice – go for basil, rosemary, whatever you have handy but just pick one) and some green or red chillies, add stock and cook it to till fork tender. Puree it and then add milk (full-fat, of course) boil for a bit more and enjoy a nice winter soup.
      d) You can of course puree roasted turnip and make soup too.
      e) You can make a dry sabzi with coriander-jeera powder and chilli powder to eat with rice+dhal.

      Try it out and let me know how it turns out.


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