Not challenging, just a literal challenge.
I generally try to leave one night each week off the menu plan and then I challenge myself to make something for dinner based only on ingredients I already have: no grocery store trips allowed.
Since I had just made a bunch of turkey stock with the Thanksgiving bird, I knew I'd be able to whip up a soup this week. But other than the stock, the pickings were looking kind of slim.
I turned to the always-reliable The Joy of Cooking and combed through the soup section. Three recipes not only looked good to me but also could be made with my in-house ingredients:
- Greek Lemon Soup
- Georgia Peanut Soup
- Chicken Noodle with Veg
Apparently they were all torn as well, as they couldn't pick a clear winner!
So I chose peanut.
Very peanutty. The peanut butter lends a nice creaminess to the soup, as well as rich peanut flavor. Personally, while I enjoyed it, I found it a little too peanutty to add it to my regular soup rotation. But Mr. Ninj loved it and was sad that I didn't love it as much: as he said, "If you don't love it, I know I'll never see it again!"
I think I might try it again and possibly back off on the peanut butter a bit.
But it was another fun, successful challenge night! I'd encourage you to give it a try.
Peanut Soup (from The Joy of Cooking)
Note: The amount of red pepper and pepper sauce listed below makes this very spicy. If you're not sure how spicy you want it to be, I'd suggest starting with half of each and then add a little more to taste.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup half-and-half (I used low-fat)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped green onion, chives or parsley
Heat the butter and oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Add the onion and celery and cook until tender but not browned (5-10 minutes). Add the flour; reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and simmer, stirring often, until the soup thickens slightly (about 5 minutes).
Add the peanut butter, half-and-half, salt, pepper and pepper sauce. Stir and heat through (do not boil). Finally, stir in the lemon juice.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped peanuts and onion, chives or parsley.