Thursday, September 18, 2008

Peppery Peanut and Tomato Soup

When I got back from Chicago, I had a bunch of really ripe tomatoes in the garden (from just three plants, I've picked over 100 tomatoes so far). I canned a bunch earlier this week, but my vegetable shelf is still overflowing with tomatoes. Enter this tomato and peanut soup. I love how creamy and rich this is, with the tang of a variety of fresh peppers and the unmatched taste of ripe garden tomatoes. I usually use diced tomatoes along with tomato juice or sauce, but here I just made a sauce of ripe tomatoes in the blender.

1 tbsp. canola oil
2 cups quartered fresh tomatoes
1 medium yellow or white onion
1 clove garlic
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 banana pepper, seeded and diced
1 green chili pepper
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup nondairy milk
1 tbsp. flour
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tbsp. tamari, or 1/2 tsp. salt
ground raw peanuts and diced green chili pepper for garnish

1. In a blender or food processor, blend tomatoes until smooth.

2. Saute the onions, garlic, bell pepper, banana pepper, and green chili until everything is softened and fragrant - about five minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add flour and stir constantly for about a minute, until the veggies are coated in a light flour paste. Add nondairy milk, along with peanut butter, and stir everything until it is smooth and well mixed.

4. This is optional, but at this point you could let this cool a bit and pulse it a few times in the blender until velvety smooth. If you like a chunkier soup, skip this step. Add the tomatoes and tamari to the onion-pepper mixture, mix well, and bring back up to a simmer. Remove from heat, and garnish with peanuts and chilis. Chives or cilantro would be great too, since the raw chilis can be a little intense - I liked the bite of a little raw chili scattered around.

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