Wednesday, August 27, 2008

African Tomato Soup

My friend Florence is from Uganda. When she moved to the states she brought with her some food combinations that my Italian-American family had never thought of. One of these is a peanut (ground nut) sauce made with tomatoes and onions. I've been planning to make her ground nut sauce for a few weeks now but since I don't tend to cook meat very often I decided that instead of making a sauce I would make a soup based on her original recipe. This soup is also a great way to use up my Tom Thumb tomatoes that are ripening now and producing far more tomatoes than I can eat in salads.

African Tomato Soup
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Onion Roughly Chopped
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder (or to taste)
About 20 Cherry Tomatoes
2 Heaping Tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) of Natural Peanut Butter (no salt, no sugar)
Juice of Half a Lime

In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions for 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile mix the spices in a mortar and pestle and grind roughly. Add the ground spices to the frying onions and fry for another 2 minutes. Chop each tomato in half and add to the pot. Add enough water to cover the tomatoes and onions, bring to a boil. When the soup is boiling add the peanut butter to the pot. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Blend the soup (I use a stick blender and put it directly into the pot but you can also transfer the soup to a blender and blend at high speed.) Add salt and lime juice to taste. For a smoother soup strain the soup through a sieve or fine mesh colander before serving.

Serves 4-6 people
Prep Time: 2-3 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

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