My sister Lisa made this at Christmas for a light main course. As strange as it sounds putting peanut butter in a soup; it was delicious. You can leave out the chicken and make it vegan. I posted that recipe under Soup- Vegan.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
1 inch (more or less) of fresh grated or minced ginger root
¼ tsp (more or less to taste) dried red pepper flakes (optional)
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
8 cups low sodium chicken broth (or 4 c broth + 4 c water)
1 large-ish sweet potato, peeled and chopped in ¾ inch dice
3 or 4 carrots, sliced
Up to half a head of cabbage, cored and shredded
1 cup or more cauliflower florets
1 small-medium red or yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped in ¾ inch dice
½ to 1-cup small pasta
2 cups (more or less) cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
3-4 cups fresh spinach leaves (any tough stems removed) rough chopped
2 to 4 Tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
¼ to ½ cup creamy peanut butter
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, broth and water; increase heat and bring to a boil. Add sweet potato, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and bell pepper; bring back to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered for about 5 minutes. Add pasta and return to a simmer for about 10 more minutes. Veggies should be tender.
Add the chicken, spinach, cilantro/parsley and peanut butter, stirring to “melt” and distribute the peanut butter. Simmer gently until the chicken is heated and the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
1. I usually use 4 cups chicken broth, 4 cups water
2. These are veggies I like and that I think hold up well in this soup. I’ve also used green beans and pea pods; try any veggies that you like and omit the ones you don’t!
3. You can make this soup vegetarian. Replace chicken broth with vegetable broth. Either omit the solid protein entirely, or replace the chicken with firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes.
4. I really like the little “zing” from red pepper flakes. If some of you don’t like any heat, you can make the soup without the flakes, and then serve the soup with some bottled hot sauce on the side for people who do like a little heat. They can add as much as they want.
5. No small pasta? Do without or break up spaghetti into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
6. I like Traci’s idea of coconut milk and may give that a try to replace some of the chicken broth.