Instead of white cubes of tofu bobbing in this African-style soup, where they look decidedly odd, I purée the tofu with a portion of the finished soup until everything is smooth. The tofu is there, but it doesn't intrude. And this is a method you can use with virtually any puréed soup. If you wish, you can purée the entire soup or leave it textured, with bits of sweet potatoes and peppers.
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2 large bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green, diced into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 teaspoons ginger, chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, approx
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 5 cups water or 5 cups chicken stock or 5 cups vegetable stock
- 3⁄4 cup peanut butter
- 6 ounces soft tofu
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup scallion, sliced, including the firm greens
- 1. Warm the oil in a wide soup pot set over high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, ginger, and sweet potatoes, and saute, stirring frequently until the onions have begun to color, 8 to 10 minutes, adding the garlic after the first 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, several good twists of the pepper mill, and the cayenne to taste, and cook a few minutes longer.
- 2. Add the tomatoes and scrape the pot to lift up any brown bits from the bottom. Add the water or stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.
- 3. Add the peanut butter and cook, stirring, until it has dissolved
- 4. Remove 2 cups of the soup and purée with the tofu until perfectly smooth. Return this mixture to the soup. (If you wish, purée the entire soup.) Taste for salt and for the heat level, adding more cayenne if desired.
- 5. Serve with 1/3 cup rice mounded in each bowl and plenty of scallions scattered over the top.