I don’t know about you, but wintertime and the colder temperatures outside make me want to cook soup for dinner, and there is nothing like a nutritious broth, teaming with vegetables that you need to eat up in the fridge, along with a hint of international flavoring, that can make a dinner better—health wise and in taste.
The secret ingredient that makes this particular soup oh-so-yummy is peanut butter. It may sound odd at first, but I promise this recipe does not disappoint. And what it lacks in “looks,” it more than makes up for in taste and nutrition. I added a bit of turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that benefits the whole body. I also added a ¼ cup of lentils to bulk the soup up a bit by adding more protein and fiber.
It is extraordinarily filling and it is a great plant-based meal that even your non-plant-based family and friends can enjoy.
So, let’s get cooking!
Peanut Butter Vegetable Soup
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Vegetarian Recipes Cookbook (1993)
Before I list the ingredients, I thought I would mention that I recommend buying organic items, when possible, especially if they are on the Dirty Dozen list of produce with the most pesticide residue. I generally don’t buy organic if the produce has low pesticide residue or is on the Clean Fifteen list. Both lists can be found here. So, the vegetable broth, the celery, the potato, the diced tomatoes, and the zucchini are items I would recommend buying organic, as they or their ingredients are found on the Dirty Dozen list.
• 3 stalks celery, sliced
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 2-4 tbsp vegetable broth or water for sautéing
• 4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
• 1 potato or root vegetable, diced
• 1 zucchini, sliced
• ¼ cup lentils, optional
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• ½ tsp turmeric, optional
• 1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, low sodium
• ½ cup peanut butter, natural with no added sugar or sodium
• ½ tsp of dried parsley or 2 tbsp of fresh, for garnish
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, sauté celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in 2-4 tbsp vegetable broth for about 5 minutes or until the onion is tender. Increase vegetable broth 1 tbsp at a time as needed to prevent vegetables from sticking to pan.
Stir in the 4 cups of vegetable broth, the potato (or root vegetable), zucchini, lentils, if using, salt, pepper, and turmeric, if using.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the potato (or root vegetable) and lentils, if using, are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in can of diced tomatoes and parsley.
In a small bowl, gradually stir in about 1 cup of broth into the peanut butter till smooth. Return to soup. Cook and stir till heated through.
Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy!