There are many ways of making this hearty soup, inspired by African cuisine (although yams, tomatoes, and both sweet and hot peppers are all native to the New World). I first tasted a version at a creative vegetarian restaurant in Victoria, British Columbia, the much-loved Rebar Modern Food. (I highly recommend the Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook.) Many people will find the combinations of flavors in this soup novel and appealing. This is a good first course for fall and winter.
Fast Food, Good Food More Than 150 Quick and Easy Ways to Put Healthy, Delicious Foods on the Table courtesy Little, Brown and Company Copyright © 2015 by Andrew Weil, MD
- 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed and allowed to sit for ten minutes
- 3 Tablespoons peeled, finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 Teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 yams, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 4 Cups vegetable broth or stock
- 1/2 Cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 large ripe tomato, chopped, or a third cup canned diced plum tomatoes
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons natural smooth peanut butter
- 1/4 Cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1/2 Cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
- 2 limes, quartered
- Hot sauce, to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices, and sauté for 2 minutes more.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the yams and red pepper, and sauté until they start to just stick to the bottom of the pot, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups of the stock, the orange juice, tomato, and peanut butter and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat so it is simmering. Cover and cook until the yams are tender, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender or use an immersion blender and puree the soup until smooth. Thin the soup with more stock to reach your desired consistency, and reheat to serving temperature. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary.
Just before serving, garnish each bowl with peanuts and chopped cilantro. Serve with limes and hot sauce.