Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Majesty of Soup

Happy. Just happy.

We went hiking today. The woods burst with little fireworks of wonder.. We saw bald eagles. Grasshoppers. We collected leaves in a little bag,  We held our breath and listened to the wind and the trees as they whispered their wisdom back and forth.

The kids hardly complained. This, in itself, is a revelation.

Later, I dropped off soup for my friend. She  is having a baby tomorrow. How odd to write such momentous words so matter-of-factly.

She's holding a comet in her hand, watching it with open-mouthed wonder, as it illuminates the sky, leaving a silken trail of light. She has seen its light for months. Tomorrow we will see it with her.

A new life! Not yet in this world today, but he or she will be tomorrow.

I can't wait to meet this little one.

The only way to address this majesty is to make soup. Really, the only way, sometimes, to address the majesty of this world, period, is to make soup. To create warmth and richness out of water and vegetables. To simmer, soak, stir, and taste. To eat until you are full.

West African Peanut Soup

(This yields a gallon, but can easily be halved).  

4 cups onions, chopped
2 tbl oil (peanut or vegetable)
1 tsp cayenne (or other ground chilies) 
2 tsp ginger root, grated
2 cups carrots, chopped
4 cups, sweet potatoes, chopped (up to two cups white potatoes can be substituted)
8 cups vegetable stock or water
4 cups tomato juice
2 cups smooth peanut butter
2  cups scallions or chives, chopped
sugar (granulated (optional). 

1. Saute the onions in the oil until just translucent. 
2. Stir in the cayenne and fresh ginger
3. Add the carrots and saute a couple more minutes
4. Mix in the potatoes and stock or water. 
5. Bring the soup to a boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. 
6. In a blender or food processor, puree the vegetables with the cooking liquid and the tomato juice. 
7. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. 
8. Taste the soup. Its sweetness will depend upon the sweetness of the carrots and the sweet potatoes. If it's not there naturally, add just a little sugar to enhance the other flavors. 
9. Reheat the soup gently, using a heat diffuser (if needed) to prevent scorching. 
10. Add more stock, water, or tomato juice for a thinner soup. 
12. Serve topped with plenty of chopped scallions or chives. 

Vegetarian, unique, and delicious. Enjoy! 

(Check out other vegetarian recipes this week at Share a Spoon with adrienzgirl.). 

Think Tank Momma


The Blogging Goddess said...

I loved the way you introduced have a way with words my dear. As far as the cooking goes...well, let's just say...domino's and I are very very close.

blueviolet said...

I think soup really will hit just the right spot for this wonderful event. And since it's vegetarian, even better!

MiMi said...

This sounds so good! And how wonderful for your friend...the birth of a baby is absolutely amazing.

Michelle Pixie said...

A new baby! There is nothing better in life. :) And I am betting this soup was a great gift for the family. I do love soup!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm. Love the words you wrote about what is about to happen for her!

Marla said...

This is beautiful Nancy. Loved it!

adrienzgirl said...

This sounds absolutely amazing. I love soup. LOVE IT. How very sweet of you indeed to make the mommy2be a pot of love!

Thanks for Sharing! I love your recipes!!

Maggie May said...

yum. i've been soup crazy lately.

TKW said...

There is a majesty about soup--particularly if made by a thoughtful friend.

Erin said...

you are amazing, nancy.
love the way the recipe intertwines with the birth of the baby, etc....

and i love that the soup is vegetarian, so i'm going to make it!!! yum!

Anonymous said...

Nancy, your writing is simple and beautiful. =)
On a matter of fact note, I recently made an African stew with peanut butter as well, and it was to die for.

Anonymous said...

"She's holding a comet in her hand, watching it with open-mouthed wonder, as it illuminates the sky, leaving a silken trail of light. She has seen its light for months. Tomorrow we will see it with her. "-breathtaking.

I will be cooking this soup this week. It sounds amazing!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a friend with a new baby. I haven't held a newborn in such a long time. *sigh*

Love the soup recipe. I'm going to put it in my recipe file on the computer. Do you think it will freeze well?