It’s the first day of autumn here on the west coast, and it’s raining, it’s cold, and I’m sick & busy. I froze some of this soup last spring during a more leisurely spell, and ingesting it is improving the quality of my life manifold. This stew is hot, rich, spicy, and packed with everything one needs for happy sustenance. It’s lifted straight off the pages of Crescent Dragonwagon’s “Passionate Vegetarian”.
- 6 cups filtered water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 serrano chile, diced (you choose: seeds or no seeds)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 to 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 8 to 10 gratings fresh nutmeg
- 1 can (10 oz.) tomatoes and green chiles (I don’t buy this, so I use canned tomatoes and extra chiles somewhere else)
- 1 large sweet potato, 1-inch dice
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter (organic & straight up if possible — peanuts are really good at absorbing pesticide, so they’re one of the top priority food items to buy organic)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- about 2 tablespoons tamari or shoyu (soy sauce)
- 1 pound spinach or whatever leafy green vegetable you have on hand, very well rinsed and chopped
- 1/2 pound mustard greens, or whatever spicy delicious leafy green vegetable you have on hand (i.e. arugula…)
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh okra (or something else green and chunky like green pepper, green bean…)
- 3 cups cooked black-eyed peas
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the water on to boil.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until starting to soften, about 4 min. Add the serrano, curry powder, cayenne, and nutmeg and saute for another minute while stirring. Add 4 cups of the boiling water, and the canned tomatoes and sweet potato. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer, half-covered, for 15 min.
Place the peanut butter in a large bowl. Add the remaining boiling water to it, whisking constantly to bled. When blended, whisk in the tomato paste, and set aside.
Add the 2 tablespoons soy sauce, spinach, mustard greens, and okra to the simmering palaver. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Carefully stir in the peanut butter mixture. It will take some stirring to blend it all in. When smooth, add the black-eyed peas and cook until everything’s hot. Season with the salt and pepper!