Spicy Peanut Soup

All the kiddos are heading back to school soon.  Which means lots of lunches, coffees and dinner with these amazing students; telling me of summer adventures, schedules of the upcoming school year, joy, heartbreak, talking for hours and hours.  It blesses me and feeds my heart.

This recipe is from The Complete Book of 400 Soups.

Substitution made, noted below.

spicy peanut soup 1

Spicy Peanut Soup

2 tblsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp chili powder
2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
8oz carrots, finely chopped
8oz potatoes, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, sliced
3 3/4 c vegetable stock
6 tblsp crunchy peanut butter – I used smooth
2/3 c corn
salt & black pepper
peanuts for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes.  Add the chili powder and cook for an additional minute

Add the red peppers, carrots, potatoes and celery.  Stir well, then cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the vegetable stock, followed by the peanut butter and corn.  Stir until thoroughly combined.

Season well.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.  Serve garnished with chopped peanuts.

spicy peanut soup 2

cartoon-strawberry-9This soup has a great flavor, but not so spicy.  I need to remember this cook book tends to under-spice the recipes.  Next time I’ll add in some cumin, ginger and maybe some Chinese 5 spice powder.  I served the soup over white rice with some shredded chicken thrown in.

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Mexican Chocolate Cookies

When husband and I were dating, there was a coffee shop near his home where he would always order a Mexican Mocha.  I was hoping these cookies would remind him of those mochas.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, December 2009.

I made one slight substitution, noted below.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies 1

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

5 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped – I used a combo of unsweet, bittersweet and semi-sweet. It’s just what I had on hand.
3.4 oz all-purpose flour (about 3/4 c)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of black pepper
Dash of ground red pepper
1 1/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

mexican chocolate cookies 2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave on high 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring until smooth.  Cool to room temperature.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground red pepper); stir well with a whisk.

Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.  Add egg; beat well.  Add cooled chocolate and vanilla; beat just until blended.  Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until almost set.  Remove from oven.  Cool on pans 2 minutes or until set.  Remove from pans; cool completely on a wire rack.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

mexican chocolate cookies 3

cartoon-strawberry-9The pepper in these cookies adds a great little kick!  But to get the flattened crinkle cookie, I had to pull the sheets out of the oven about 2 minutes before the baking was done and flatten them with the back of a spoon.