Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spicy peanut soup

While others are feeling a little down in the dumps about the sudden turn of grayness here in Seattle yesterday, I'm feeling energized by the pre-autumn chill in the air. I think I realized that, while I love to cook in general, I'm not so much inspired to cook in the summer. Maybe it's the sunshine beckoning, making me choose between being indoors cooking or outdoors playing. Maybe it's the warmth and my appetite for simple, fresh, uncooked foods in such weather. Whatever the reason, as soon as the clouds roll in and summer packs up, I dust off the old recipes, like old friends, and get to cooking.

Yesterday, it's gray but still in the 60s, and I'm determined to make a big pot of soup. Yep, I feel it; it's a soup night. I set to work chopping vegetables into fine chunks. I begin by cooking the onion in a soup pot, sizzling in olive oil and crushed garlic. Then I add the color: purple potatoes, red peppers, green zucchini, orange carrots. After a few minutes, I add one of my favorite spices, chili powder, more generously than the recipe calls for. Another minute of sizzling, then I add the vegetable broth, the yellow kernels of corn, and the chunky peanut butter. My tummy is rumbling in anticipation as it inhales the spicy peanut aroma.

The finished product is ladled into my bowl and sprinkled with a peanut garnish. I think I am alone tonight, left with this huge pot of soup, but the beautiful thing is, I end up feeding three other people, and isn't this one of the greatest delights of cooking? For it to be shared.

I have loved the summer that surprised us late this year and have not wanted to relinquish it too quickly. But big pots of soup shared on a gray evening, and later, pulling a loaf of freshly baked pumpkin chocolate chip bread from the oven, these help me let go and embrace this day and a change of season.

Welcome, autumn days and cooking nights. Welcome, spicy peanut soup and pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad fall is here!! I love this season!!