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West African Peanut Soup

January 22, 2011

My grandfather has this great story about the time he, my mom and my aunt attempted to make peanut soup one night when my grandmother was away. It was a disaster, gloppy and gross and apparently called for more than a jar of peanut putter. The entire story pretty resulted in a failed soup and a messy kitchen. Its a story that will turn anyone who has never had, or tried to cook peanut soup into someone with no desire to experience anything like it. This is exactly what happened to me, even though peanut butter is a staple in my diet and the idea of it in soup was kind of intriguing.

Then the other day I came upon this recipe for West African Peanut Soup on Amy’s blog: Sing For Your Supper. She had only good things to say, so I decided to check it out (also because the only peanut related substance, except for a handful of crush peanuts as garnish, was a mere ½ cup of creamy peanut butter). Plus, there are sweet potatoes in it, which happen to be a favorite of mine.

West African Peanut Soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 medium sweet potato, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 green pepper, diced

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups water, with a chicken bouillon cube) *or vegetable broth

1/2 cup smooth, natural peanut butter

1/2 cup crushed peanuts, for garnish

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish

cooked couscous, for serving


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the ground cumin and cook for 1 minute more. Add sweet potatoes, carrot, and green pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook 20-30 minutes, or until the sweet potato and carrot is soft. Stir in the peanut butter and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve the stew hot, on to top couscous or rice, with the peanuts and cilantro sprinkled on top.

Serves 4

I just have to say, GREAT SUCCESS. I ladled it over couscous and I threw some whole, spicy peanuts on top as garnish. I did not have fresh parsley, but I don’t think I noticed its absence. The soup is spicy (but not too spicy) with the sweetness you’d imagine peanut butter would add. It’s really really really good. It was also really easy. yum.

So now that peanut soup is one of my new favorite chilly Saturday meals [plus leftovers for preceding chilly weekday lunches] I think Ill reinvestigate the “rabbit doo droppings in the grass” dish that was another one of Grampa’s experiments when my mom was little and he was in charge of dinner…


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2011 2:53 am

    This looks and sounds so delicious! Throw some peanut butter in any dish and I’m a fan.


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