The first time I ever had peanut soup was when I was 14 and my mother's fabulous friends invited us round for lunch one rainy Sunday in Amsterdam. I was a proper surly teen and didn't appreciate being pulled away from my books into the rain to listen to mum and friends natter on.
Luckily the teen tantrum was soon forgotten when they began to regale us with these incredible tales of sneakily sneezing on royalty in a Parisian lift, a 120 year old Italian Grandmother who liked cursing daughter-in-laws and looked 50 (she washed with ice water everyday!) and an indiscreet fashion model they befriended in the 70s who fell foul of the mafia. All this excitement over a bowl of deliciously warming exotic soup made sure I have never forgotten this dish and when Caleigh posted the recipe for her crazy good Caranutter Pie recently I realised it was the perfect time to break out this Autumny soup.
Peanut Soup (makes 4 servings)
You will need:
For the peanut sauce:
- 4 large tbsp peanut butter (I like crunchy but it doesn't really matter)
- 3 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 1 hot chili chopped finely
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
For the soup:
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 3-4 chicken thighs with the fat removed and cubed into bite size pieces
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 pint chicken stock
- Handful of bean sprouts
- 1 leek diced
- 10-12 green beans chopped into 1/2 cm pieces
For the toppings:
- 4 spring onions diced
- Half a cucumber diced
- 1 large handful peanuts crushed
- Firstly pop all the peanut sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and warm through until it they combine into a gloopy thick sauce. Set aside to let the flavours mingle while you chop the rest of the ingredients.
- Throw the onion, carrot and pepper into a clean pan with some oil and saute on a medium heat for 10 mins until soft.
- Add the chicken and move it around so it gets colour on all sides.
- Now throw in all the peanut sauce you made and cook for a few minutes stirring to coat everything in the pan.
- Throw in the tomatoes and turn the heat up to bring it to a bubble, keep stirring.
- Now pour a bit of the stock in and rub the bottom of the pan with the spoon to loosen any stuck flavourful bits (so good) and, once it's all off, pour in the rest leaving it on a high heat.
- Once bubbling throw in the bean sprouts, leek and green beans and stir in. Now just let it bubble for about 8-10 mins so it reduces down to a thick soup.
- Spoon into bowls and sprinkle the crushed nuts, spring onions and cucumbers on top.
- Serve with a nice hunk of crusty bread and share some crazy stories.