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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spicy Ginger Peanut Vegetable Stew


This delicious meat-free stew is full of tender vegetables and warm spices along with some heat and a touch of smoke. Thickened with a spoonful of peanut butter and garnished with chopped peanuts, it has an unusual but savory flavor.

I usually recommend eating nuts raw, but peanuts are an exception because they're actually a legume, not a tree nut. Like other legumes, it's ideal to soak and cook them before eating. I buy "blistered" peanuts which are soaked prior to roasting and available at Trader Joe's.

Besides chopped peanuts, I garnished this soup with tarragon leaves to add an herbal note and a refreshing contrast to the creamy texture of the soup. If you don't have or don't like tarragon, other herbs would be good too, like cilantro, basil, or parsley.

For a vegan variation, substitute vegetable broth for bone broth.

  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil or ghee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 large red bell pepper, or substitute orange or yellow
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (or 1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 3 cups bone broth
  • 1 chipotle pepper 
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 lime 
  • 1 heaping spoonful of natural creamy peanut butter (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Freshly ground peppercorn
  • Chopped blistered peanuts to garnish
  • Fresh herbs to garnish, tarragon or other
  1. Warm the oil in the bottom of a soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, sweet potato, and bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables become soft and start to brown. 
  3. Stir in the ginger, salt, cumin, and turmeric. Cook for two minutes more.
  4. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Stir up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, then add the bone broth. Cut a slit into the chipotle pepper and drop that in as well. Bring the mixture to a boil,  then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or more, until the vegetables are completely tender.
  5. Remove the chipotle pepper from the stew. Cut off the stem, mince it, and return it to the pot. If you prefer a mild heat level, scrape the seeds out of the chipotle before mincing it or return just a portion of it to the soup.
  6. Grate the garlic, zest the lime, and grind the pepper directly into the stew. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the stew as well, then stir in the peanut butter until it has fully dissolved.
  7. Taste the stew for seasoning and make any necessary adjustments. Serve it in individual bowls, garnished with chopped peanuts and fresh tarragon leaves.

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