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meatless monday: thai peanut soup

June 27, 2011

While the ingredients may be many, this dish comes together surprisingly easily. And the best part? It is incredibly good and entirely authentic. It does have fish sauce in it, but it is a small concession that I am willing to make. And once to taste it, you will be too.

Don’t feel compelled to blend it in the food processor. While it makes a more delicate soup, it is just as wonderful as-is.

Thai Peanut Soup

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1/2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into quarter-sized pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans vegetable broth (for the carnivore in us, chicken broth is delectable)
1/2 teaspoon Thai chili paste
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
10 tablespoons coconut milk
1 1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large pot over medium heat, combine oil and flour; cook, stirring constantly until foam subsides. Add garlic, ginger and onion; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is soft but not browned. Stir in brown sugar, curry powder and lime juice; cook, stirring 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is completely dissolved.

Add fish sauce, chicken stock and chili paste. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in peanut butter and cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until soup begins to thicken slightly.

Reduce heat to low and add coconut milk, cilantro, lime zest, salt and pepper. Gently heat 5 minutes; do not let soup come to a boil. Transfer sop in batches to a blender or food processor and puree.

To serve, ladle soup in bowls and garnish with a swirl of coconut milk, chopped cilantro, or chopped peanuts.

So long, and thanks for all the fish (sauce),


2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2011 6:22 pm

    are the peanuts the most dominant taste in the soup? I’ve had peanut butter chicken at a thai place…I’m kinda hesitant.

  2. June 28, 2011 8:22 am

    Pishie, this is a very delicately-flavored soup. In fact, I don’t refer to it as peanut soup in conversation. The peanut flavor is strong enough to be recognizable, but isn’t overpowering. Of course, I’m not a very accurate measurer, so that might have something to do with it! If you try it, I’d love to hear how it comes out.

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