30 October 09 • SCB

When I came home from the market this week with sweet potatoes, I had one of those food-flashback moments. Does this happen to you? I thought of a soup my mom had made for me at Thanksgiving back when I was in college and wasn’t eating meat. It was called Three P Soup—pumpkin, sweet potatoes and peanut.

The recipe came from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet. Nutritionist Brody’s ‘high carbohydrate diet’ has fallen out of fashion in the last few years, but I love her emphasis on whole grains and plant-based foods (her personal health column at the New York Times is great too). When I saw a copy of Good Food Gourmet (tattered and splattered a bit just like my mom’s) at a yard sale last year, I snatched it up.

This is a deceptively simple soup, other than the three-P’s, it’s flavored with just shallot, nutmeg and the surprise of course-grain mustard. The addition of the peanut butter makes it much richer, heartier and less sweet than your typical pureed squash soup. Paired with whole-grain bread, it’s a meal in itself. Enjoy.

Three-P Soup (peanut, pumpkin and sweet potato)
adapted from the Good Food Gourmet by Jane Brody

This makes a big pot of soup. It could easily be halved.

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced shallots
2 cups thick pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
8 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. natural smooth peanut butter
2 tsp. coarse grained mustard
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

1. For the sweet potatoes: bake in a 350 oven for about 1 hour, until soft. Cool, peel and process in a food mill or food processor. Measure out 2 cups of the sweet potatoes.

2. In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat, add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes.

3. Add the processed potatoes and the pumpkin puree. Then alternately add the broth and the peanut butter, stirring after each addition until the soup is smooth. Over medium heat, bring the soup almost to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally (note: the original recipe called for more like 25 minutes, but I found a longer cooking time produced a richer, thicker soup).

4. Stir in the mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Brody suggests garnishing the soup with chives. I like everything with a kick, so I gave my bowl a good sprinkling of sriracha.