Now that this post is well under way, I just realized that my sister-in-law is right! She complained last time that she can’t make any of these recipes since they all have been including nuts in one form or another. See, she’s allergic to …well.. a lot of things, including nuts, which happen to be my favorites. Oops! So sorry F. I promise the next post won’t include any… Oh wait, yes it will, I just made these delicious pistachio-filled cookies and I can’t wait to share them with you.
So F. I promise for real this time, the one after that will not have any nuts or other dangerous food items. This soup however is so good, it’s bursting with flavor from the peanuts, roasted eggplants, carrots and celery. And it was the perfect companion during these frigid temperature we’ve been having.
First I make the chicken stock, by placing a chicken or half of it (depends on how much chicken you want to have later) in water. Add a bay leaf, some cardamom pods and salt to flavor the stock. Let simmer covered for 45 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Take chicken out and place in a bowl. Strain the stock and place back in the pot. Add carrots and celery to the stock and simmer covered until tender. Turn off heat. Meanwhile, roast raw unsalted peanuts for a couple of minutes until slightly golden. Roast a medium size eggplant in the oven on 400’F until it’s soft to the touch. Remove and peel after allowing to cool a bit. In the pitcher of a Vitamix or heavy duty blender, gently ladle the carrots, eggplant and celery with about 4 cups of the stock, add the peanuts and blend on high to puree all ingredients. Pour puree into remaining stock and bring back to low heat. Add tomato paste, lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Simmer for another 6-8 minutes, turn off heat and serve hot with lemon wedge and jalapeno paste (optional). You may add some pulled chicken meat to the soup or save the chicken for later use.
Peanut and Vegetable Soup
2 cups peanuts, raw and unsalted
4-5 (350 g) carrots, peeled and cut in half
6-7 (300 g) celery stalks, cut in thirds
1 (500 g) eggplant, roasted and peeled
2 quarts chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper