Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Low Fat, Vegan, Spicy Senegalese Peanut Soup

I had the most amazing vegan soup at Revolutionary Soup the other week.  I haven't stopped thinking about how delicious it was... and that was two weeks ago.  I wondered if I could come up with something similar on my own.  I scoured the web and found some delicious looking recipes but none of them were quite right.  I ended up having to play around quite a bit.

While experimenting, I tried versions with lite coconut milk.  I figured if it worked, I'd then work on finding a lower fat alternative but it really didn't add much at all to the dish.  I ended up omitting it all together.  By contrast, the curry powder was absolutely critical.  It added incredible depth to the soup.  I used Tandoori seasoning (my favorite curry powder blend by Penzey's).

I was able to reduce the fat in this dish quite a bit by using PB2 in lieu of full fat peanut butter.  Powdered peanut butter has all of the flavor of peanut butter but 85% less fat.  You can find it at the link I provided or Amazon.  I've also seen it at some Whole Foods, albeit for a premium price.

This will be a go-to dish for me.  It is hearty, flavorful, filling, and has a decent amount of protein.  Enjoy!

Spicy Senegalese Peanut Soup


1/4 cup water or broth plus more as needed to keep onions and veggies from sticking
2 1/2 large onions, diced
3 tsp, chopped fresh ginger
3 medium to large sweet potatoes, cooked, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 medium carrots, diced (these would probably be optional)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 TB tandoori seasoning (or your favorite curry powder)
1 tsp kosher salt (you can add more to taste)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (use additional flakes or cayenne if you like it spicy, this quantity will render a mild version)
1 - 29 oz. can tomato puree
1 - 32 oz. container low sodium vegetable stock
3 cups water
1 1/2 cup PB2* - not packed
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 block tofu, diced into 1/4 inch cubes (optional)
additonal fresh cilantro and scallions for garnish


Cook 3 medium sweet potatoes on high until done in the microwave, turning over as necessary.  Put a big soup pot on a burner and set to medium high.  Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water into the pot then add onions, carrots, and ginger and saute about 10 minutes until the onion caramelizes and the carrots soften.  Add more water as necessary through the cooking process to keep the veggies from sticking. Add garlic and sautee another 5 or so minutes.  Add seasonings and cook for just a minute or so longer.  Add sweet potato from microwave (skins included) cut into 1"-2" chunks.  Add the tomato puree, vegetable stock and water.  Stir everything until combined.  Bring to a low boil, cover and lower the heat.  Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the PB2 and stir until mixed in.  Add the chopped cilantro. Puree the soup until smooth in batches in a blender.

At this point you can return the purred soup to the large soup pot and add the tofu and cook until the tofu is heated through.  I skip this step as I prefer to freeze my leftovers and I'm not sure how well the tofu will freeze in the soup.  I'll update this post when I figure that out.  For now, I put fresh tofu in each serving as I go.  Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro and scallions.

Makes 15 cups. Yeah, it's A LOT!  I personally need leftovers to help me out when I don't feel like going to any trouble.  Prepared meals in my freezer replaces any desire for processed food.

*Note: PB2 is powdered peanut butter, see link here.  You could use 3/4 to 1 cup peanut butter in lieu of PB2 but it will increase the fat content.  Nutritional information was calculated using PB2 and does NOT include tofu bits so be sure to add that if you are counting calories/fat grams.

Nutritional Information:
Amount Per Serving, 1 cup
  Calories 110.7
  Total Fat 1.4 g
     Saturated Fat 0.3 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
     Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 228.4 mg
  Potassium 434.3 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 18.8 g
     Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
     Sugars 7.5 g
  Protein 5.8 g

Cost Analysis:
sweet potatoes $4
garlic $1
pb2- $4
carrots and onions  $1.00
ginger $.25
cilantro $.50
tandoori $.50
veggie broth $3
tomato puree $1.25
tofu $2
= $17.50/10 big bowls OR $1.75* per bowl (cup and a 1/2)
*This can be brought down to $1.45 a bowl by using homemade stock

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