For one, I wanted to have a protein and a green in the soup. I wanted the protein because I like to have a protein at the heart of all my main dishes, and I wanted the green because I wanted the additional nutrition.
After some thinking, I've decided to entirely omit the greens. It took a lot away from the soup, and really, between the tomatoes and squash this soup is extraordinarily nutritious already. The beans really took a lot away from the soup too. But I still wanted to have protein in this soup, so instead of mixing them in after blending the soup, I've blended them along with the rest of the soup, achieving a creamier and heartier texture and taste (but not one that screams "beans!" in any way at all).
I've used adzuki beans, which look like small black beans, although a bit browner. I have occasionally found these beans in cans, but for this recipe I cooked them fresh, which is easy to do--just combine 1 cup beans and 3 cups water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary. For this recipe you can then strain the beans and add to the pot when called for. If you cannot find adzuki beans at all, you can substitute red kidney beans. Likewise, if you cannot find any kobucha squash, you can substitute with a pie pumpkin or a large butternut squash.
Curried Kobucha Peanut Soup
Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 Kobucha Squash, about 3 1/2 pounds, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked adzuki beans
3 cups veggie broth
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
DirectionsHeat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and squash, and saute until softened and the onion is translucent. Add the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the curry and garam masala and saute for 30 seconds longer. Add the tomatoes and veggie broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the beans. At this point, if you have an immersion blender, you can use this to blenderize your soup and make it creamy. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can pour the soup in batches into a regular blender, blending until smooth. Return the stew to the pot and stir in peanut butter and cilantro. Serve with crusty bread.