Broccoli, Apple and Peanut Soup

by Kelly on October 29, 2009

cookbooksI’ve already admitted to being a library addict.  I bet you never knew there was such a thing!  I’ve even decided that if I get married someday I would love for it to be in the old wing of the Boston Public Library.  If you’ve visited you’ll understand why.  It’s tremendously beautiful and historic, not to mention has a great vibe.  It also seems entirely out of my price range, but that is beside the point.

I love libraries so much that whenever I visit my parents I make sure to visit their library.  I load up my arms with whatever cookbooks catch my fancy and head back to their house to leisurely sit on the couch and flip through the books searching for inspiration.  It’s quite relaxing and I couldn’t recommend it more highly as a vacation activity.  Last time I was home I happened upon a great cookbook that I’ve been eyeing for some time on Amazon, Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.  There were so many unique recipes that sucked me in.  I added them to my recipe database where they have been waiting patiently ever since.

rawingredients

Now that I’ve been looking for creative ways to use up the last of my produce CSA share (It ended this week.  A post on my thoughts on the whole experience to come.) it seemed like the perfect time to revisit these recipes.  One in particular – Broccoli, Apple and Peanut Soup – immediately came to mind because not only did it sound unusual, it could be made entirely with what I had on hand.  I made some adaptations based on my personal preferences and the result was spectacular.  The flavors are very well balanced and a combination of peanut butter and red curry paste gives this a slight Thai flare.  I especially liked that the apple taste wasn’t prominent, but played a background role giving a bit of sweetness without honey or sugar.  It’s also worth noting that pulling out a second pot to steam the broccoli may seem like a pain, but it’s worth it as it makes sure the broccoli texture is perfect – neither too crisp or too soft.  I like a soup with a thinner broth and lots of chunks so I only puree two cups of the soup, but you could easily do more if you like the stick-to-your-ribs thickness.

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Broccoli, Apple and Peanut Soup
Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons
Serves 6

Ingredients:
-1 teaspoon olive oil
-2 large onions, peeled and chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
-4 cups vegetable broth
-2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced
-1 tablespoon red curry paste
-1/2 cup natural-style peanut butter
-6 cups broccoli, finely chopped
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper
-Chopped roasted peanuts, to garnish

Method:

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium low heat. Add unions and saute until translucent. Add garlic and carrots and continue to saute until the unions are golden.

Add broth, apples, and curry paste. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until apple and carrots are tender. Remove from heat.

Transfer 2 cups of the solid ingredients from the soup to a food processor. Process until smooth and add back into the dutch oven, stirring well to distribute. Add peanut butter to the soup, about half at a time, stirring until completely blended with the broth. Return to low heat.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli in a sauce pan with about 1/4 cup water, covered, for 5 minutes, or until tender-crisp to your liking. Stir into soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, topping with peanuts if desired.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

sherri October 30, 2009 at 8:48 am

I would love this soup! I share your love of reading, and also read cookbooks for relaxation and inspiration.

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Kelly October 30, 2009 at 9:42 am

Sherri – I love finding others who do the same thing. This soup truly is very good. I’m looking forward to leftovers for lunch.

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CaSaundra October 30, 2009 at 11:07 am

I looove the Boston Library! I never thought of it being a great wedding location, but now that you say that, it would!!

About the classes–I got hired to teach culinary classes Jan-May for our town’s Community Education classes. They’ll be taught in the Home-Ec room at the local highschool, and I am just so excited! I will have the layout of the classes up on the blog either Sunday or early next week so that everyone can get a sneak peak!

That pizza sandwich sounds SO good. I am in Roseville all the time to shop, so I will have to write that place down–thanks!

And this soup sounds like a great combination of flavors–I love trying new foods paired together!

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The Duo Dishes October 30, 2009 at 11:39 am

This is a totally different combination of flavors. It’s the broccoli that really stands out with apples. Bet it felt good to eat something so hearty on a cold day.

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Shannon October 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm

i love reading cookbooks 🙂 this soup sounds amazing, i’ll def have to give it a try!

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Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. October 30, 2009 at 4:57 pm

I love libraries too. But reading a coffeeshop even more. Not that I do it often. maybe once a year… But I love borrowing books from the library. And books in general!
Now back to the soup. What a combination! In my dream I would never think about such a combo.

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Natasha - 5 Star Foodie October 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

What a neat combination! My daughter peaked in over my shoulder and said it sounded yummy! I’m encouraged – she’s not normally a broccoli eater but I think she will like it with apple & peanuts!

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Elina October 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I think I have that chocolate book!
This sounds like a great combo of ingredients. I really like your bowl too 🙂

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Kerstin October 30, 2009 at 7:38 pm

What an interesting flavor combo! I love the library too, always have, always will. Although, I have a stack of 10 books that all came in at once that I’m frantically trying to get through right now before they are due 🙂

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Carolyn Jung October 31, 2009 at 1:21 am

I once made a chicken stew similarly with peanut butter and some of the other spices you used. It was rich and satisfying, and utterly wonderful. I bet this soup is, too.

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Sarah @ Semi-Sweet October 31, 2009 at 7:10 am

My secret dream is to become a librarian – I’ve always loved to read and I have always loved libraries (great idea for a wedding venue, BTW, I’m a fan of unconventional venues!) In terms of cooking, books from the library are such a great way to bust a rut and/or to try out cookbooks before committing to buying them. I have too many already! This soup looks terrific – I’m trying eating less dairy on for size, and our winter CSA starts up next weekend, so I’m definitely tucking this one in my back pocket!

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sophia November 1, 2009 at 12:41 am

What an innovative soup! The flavor combinations are amazing, esp with peanut butter! And fall apples!

P.S. I used to frequent the library so much that every staff recognized me. And I don’t plan on ever getting married, but if I do my wedding pics will definitely include shelves and shelves of books!

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Mandee November 1, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Looks lovely, peanuts always makes a meal delicious! & I love libraries too, it’s so nice to be able to find so many new books.

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Otehlia Cassidy November 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Looks almost like West African Peanut Stew. YUM!I love the addition of apple, and the red curry paste.

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Hannah November 2, 2009 at 3:15 pm

The sweet comments you’ve recently left on my blog really made my day… Thank you so much! Yes, I am 20, soon to be 21. 🙂

This sound sounds fantastic, really hearty and filling. I’ve never used peanut butter in soup before, but I love the concept.

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Cara November 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Hello! Thanks for stopping by. Your blog looks great too, can’t wait to follow it and get inspired with more healthy recipes.

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Mo November 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Mmm…what a healthy and hearty looking soup. Love the apple addition!

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River - The Crafty Kook November 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm

What a lovely bowl of soup! Just the bowl itself looks like something fancy I would pull out if Jane Austen came over for dinner! <3

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Guava November 6, 2009 at 2:10 pm

ooh… that sounds perfectly decadent for the season…

I’m a used bookstore addict!!! Haha… I love that musty smell and little notes in the margins AND old cover editions!!! Haha… I often end up toting home pics just because they’re pretty and have a $1.25 penciled in to the corner of their inside cover!!! 🙂

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