Spicy Peanut and Pumpkin Soup - Valley Morning Star : Current Cuisine

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Spicy Peanut and Pumpkin Soup

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Posted: Monday, December 3, 2018 10:47 am

This recipe is warmth on these cool autumn nights. Habanero chiles and peanuts are both featured widely in Nigerian cuisine, and this soup is similar to a stew common to much of West Africa.

Don’t be afraid of a chile with seeds: the fragrant oils from these peppers are worth every bite. The peanut butter and coconut milk mellow the warmth of the chile to a mild, lingering heat, but you can also take the chile out before the soup is puréed.

A spoon of honey to the soup will balance out the flavors, and a dollop of crème fraîche or yogurt will further temper the heat.

Don’t feel like fussing in the kitchen but you’re curious about this creation? Stop by Marcello’s this weekend where we will be featuring this fabulous soup – while it lasts!

Bon Appétit! Chef Bettina

Spicy Peanut and Pumpkin Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and diced

½ habanero or bird’s eye chile, or jalapeno if you like (cut in half, not diced)

1 (14-ounce) can pumpkin purée

3 cups no or low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

1 (13-ounce) can coconut milk

1 tablespoon agave or honey

¼ cup unsweetened natural peanut butter

Kosher Salt

2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives

¼ cup crème fraîche or yogurt (optional)

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently until softened and just beginning to brown around the edges, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chile and pumpkin purée, and whisk in the water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer on low, giving an occasional stir, for 20 minutes or until slightly reduced and thickened. Remove the chile after the soup simmers if you don’t care for much spice.

Add coconut milk, agave or honey, and peanut butter to the pot. Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a standing blender, purée the soup until smooth. Season with salt and keep warm over low heat. Do not bring soup up to a simmer or boil at this point. (This reduces the risk of the oils in the peanut butter separating and breaking the soup’s smooth texture.)

Divide soup between bowls, sprinkle with the chives and a dollop of crème fraîche or yogurt, or a drizzle of olive oil to make it vegan. Serve with a warm crusty baguette or sourdough bread for dipping.

*Bettina Tolin is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin. She has cooked in the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Florida. She is currently the Executive Chef and owner of Marcello’s Restaurant and Bar on the Piazza in Port Isabel.

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