Peanuts are regarded as longevity fruit in China and are widely used in soups as well as snacks. I love peanuts, and the love comes from my mother. My mom used to make peanut soup a lot, and she said peanuts maintained Zheng Qi, the energy that helps with disease resistance and recovery. After I became a vegetarian, she worried that I would not have enough protein and reminded me to eat more peanuts, as they provide a great source of plant-based protein. My mom also told me that the red coat of peanuts has the effect of nourishing the blood and is supposedly good for anemia, which was her other concern about my being vegetarian. Consequently, I prefer redskin peanuts in the soup rather than blanched peanuts. For me, peanut soup not only comes with physical benefits but also a sense of connection with my mother.
Dried seaweed (laver, 紫菜) gives us a taste of the ocean and makes the soup even more delicious. It also provides a variety of nutrients. You can use a small amount as a garnish or a large amount as the main flavour. Be aware that the laver is not the same as the roasted seaweed that can be eaten without cooking. It’s suggested that you cook the laver for a few minutes.
Less salt is needed in the soup as the shiitake mushrooms and seaweed will give the soup enough natural flavour and taste. Enjoy a healthy and flavourful meal!
Redskin peanuts, shiitake mushrooms and dried seaweed can be found at a Chinese grocery store.
Prepare time: 15min
Cooking time: 35min
Makes 3 servings
- 1 cup red skin peanuts
- 4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tbsp oil
- fresh ginger, approximately 1 table spoon, sliced in 3 pieces
- 1 tomato
- green vegetable (1 crown of broccoli or a leaf vegetable)
- 4 cups water
- ½ tsp salt
- dried seaweed (紫菜), 5-15g
Soak the peanuts 2 hours or more.
Soak the mushrooms 1-2 hours.
In a wok or a big pot, put the oil and ginger, add the chopped tomato, peanuts and mushrooms. Stir the mixture in medium heat for around 5 minutes.
Add the water and bring it to boil. Turn down the heat to low and cook around 15-20 minutes until the peanuts are soft.
Add the homemade noodles, and on high heat bring the soup to boil, then turn the heat to medium and cook around 10 minutes.
Add the chopped broccoli or any vegetables that don’t need to cook too long, as well as salt, and pieces of dried seaweed. Cook another 5 minutes.
Serve hot. Enjoy!
(Remove ginger before serving)
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