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.