African Peanut Soup

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger (optional)
1 tbsp salt
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 pounds carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
2 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 tablespoons Walden Farms peanut spread
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the 1 tbsp water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic, ginger, and spices. Stir in the tomatoes, and carrot, and continue to cook and stir about 5 minutes.
Pour water & stock into the saucepan, and season the mixture with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
Remove the soup mixture from heat. In a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Season with cayenne pepper. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook until heated through. Serve warm topped with fresh cilantro.

Chilled Fennel Soup with Avocado and Cucumber

2 fennel bulbs, chopped (1 1/4 lb)
1/2 daikon or handful of radishes (1/4 lb), chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 avocado, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon

Place the fennel in a stockpan with 1 tbsp water and sweat for two minutes over medium high heat. Add the daikon/radishes, bay leaf, coriander and stock and simmer until the fennel is very tender (20-25 min). Cool. Puree this mixture in a blender. Chill in refrigerator.  Mix in the cucumber, avocado and lemon juice, and serve (these are optional).

Spicy Carrot Soup

1 pound carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1/4" slices
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground aniseed
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne, to taste

In a medium sized saucepan, simmer the carrots in the water for 10 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Set aside to cool. Spray a small non-stick skillet w/Pam and sautee the onion until softened, add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer (do not let the garlic turn dark brown!). Transfer the carrots, their cooking liquid, the onions and garlic into a blender along with the vegetable broth and puree to a smooth consistency. Transfer this mixture back into the saucepan and add the 2 cups of water and the spices. Place the pan over medium heat and warm soup thoroughly, stirring often. This step is necessary to develop the flavors of the spices. 
I prefer this served warm, but it's good cold as well!

Thai Vegetable Soup

6 cups vegetable stock
Zest of 1/2 of a lime
2 stalks minced lemongrass or lemon zest
1 tsp minced garlic
1 fresh red chili, minced; or 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili or cayenne pepper
1/2 can of straw mushrooms
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tbsp. Bragg's Amino
1/2 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
A handful of fresh basil
* optional: other vegetables of your choice, such as broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and/or bok choy
* optional: 1-2 tsp. Splenda
* optional: Miracle Noodles (rinsed 3-5 minutes under cold running water)

Place stock in a large pot over high heat. Add the minced lemongrass (and leftover lemongrass stalks, if using fresh), plus lime zest. Bring to a boil.
When soup reaches a bubbling boil, turn heat down to medium. Add the garlic, chili, mushrooms, lime juice, and Bragg's. Stir well. Partially cover with a lid and simmer 3 minutes.
Add the other vegetables and Miracle Noodles, if using. Simmer until veggies are lightly cooked (2-3 minutes).
Remove soup from heat and do a taste-test, looking for a balance of salty, sour, and spicy. If the soup needs more salt, add more Bragg's. If it's too sour, add 1-2 tsp. Splenda. If too salty, add another squeeze of lime juice (Note that the saltiness of your soup will depend on how salty your stock was to start with).
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander and basil. ENJOY!