Spicy Peanut Stew

Serves 6
• 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
• 1 celery stalk, chopped with leaves (about 1/2 cup)
• 1 1/2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
• 1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
• 30 oz. can diced tomatoes
• 1 acorn squash, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
• 2 cups vegetable stock
• 1/2 lb. frozen cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)
• 1/4 – 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• cayenne pepper to taste
• 1 head watercress, stems removed

To make the soup:
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally. Stir in ginger and garlic, and cook 5 minutes more, or until vegetables are soft.
2. Add yams and tomatoes. Increase heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in stock. Simmer partially covered, 10 minutes. Add squash and cauliflower, and cook 15 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender.
4. Whisk together peanut butter and ½ cup warm water in small bowl. Add to stew, and cook 4 minutes, or until thickened, stirring constantly. season with cayenne and salt.

Black Bean Soup with Avocado Salsa

• 12 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans (six 19-ounce cans)
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• 2 tablespoons cooking oil
• 2 onion, chopped
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

• 2 avocados, preferably Hass, cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
• 6 radishes, halved and sliced thin
• 2 tablespoons lime juice

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft about 5 minutes.

2. Add 6 cups of the beans and 4 cups of stock. Boil.

3. puree. Add pepper to taste. Simmer until hot, about 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the avocados, cilantro, radishes, lime juice, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix gently. Spoon the soup into bowls and top with the salsa.

Green Mulligatawny Soup

Makes 8 first-course or 4 main-course servings.

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 3 cups chopped onions (about 1 pound)
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 cups dried red lentils
• 8 cups vegetable stock
• 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 cups cooked basmati rice
• Lemon wedges

To make the soup:
Heat vegetable oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently about 15 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes.

Add garam masala and next 4 ingredients; stir 1 minute.
Add lentils; stir until coated. Add stock.

Bring soup to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are very tender about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pot. Stir in coconut milk, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide rice among bowls. Pour soup over. Garnish with lemon wedges; serve.

adapted from:

Chocolate Coffee Soup

• 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 2 cups dark chocolate chips
• 2 cups white chocolate chips
• 1 quart heavy cream
• 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
• 2 Tbsp real vanilla extract (imitation ruins it)
• 2 cups strong brewed espresso grind coffee

• super fine espresso grind coffee
• powdered chocolate

To make the soup:
In a simmering double boiler, gently warm the heavy cream, corn syrup, coffee, and vanilla. Pour in the buttons and gently finish melting the soup. Fill a shaker of larger than average holes with the fresh grind espresso coffee and another with the powdered chocolate. When the soup is melted, stirred to a uniform consistency, and hot, ladle into a small bowl or mug and top with a few good shakes of the dry coffee grounds and the powdered coffee.

Potato Cheese