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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

West African Peanut Soup - Groundnut Stew




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This rich and delicious soup is quite thick and often used as a sauce for rice or chicken. I came across the dish while searching for foods that would typically be served at celebrations held during the African harvest festival, Kwanzaa. The soup is protein-packed and, with a base of peanuts and tomatoes, it makes a great vegetarian entrée that is perfect for Meatless Mondays. Throughout most of the world, peanuts are called groundnuts. They were brought to Africa by the Spanish and Portuguese and to the United States by African slaves, who called them goobers or pindars. They were an integral part of the slave diet. Milk and dairy products were unusual in the countries from which they came because the tsetse fly made cattle rearing impossible. Ground nuts, puréed vegetables and certain fruits were used in their stead to make rich, creamy and filling soups and stews. Peanuts were a perfect choice because they were easily grown. The soup is always made with peanut butter, tomatoes, hot peppers, and onions. In Africa it would be served with plantains and cassava dumplings or with rice balls. Here in the United States, boiled potatoes, rice or whole-grain bread are the usual accompaniments. I like to serve it as a simple first course. This is a rich soup and if you find it too thick, it can be thinned to your liking. I like to add lemon juice to the soup once it is pureed. I find it really brightens the flavor. This is an unusual soup, but I think those of you who try it will find it to be very pleasant. Here's the recipe.

West African Peanut Soup ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bit adapted from a recipe by Allison Liefer and Kate Leahy via Relish.com

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 to 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 sweet potato peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
3-1/2 cups water, divided
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
5 scallions, chopped

Directions:
1) Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Stir in yellow onions and carrots and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add ginger and cayenne; cook 1 minute.
2) Add sweet potato, 3 cups water, tomato juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
3) Ladle soup into bowl of a food processor. Add peanut butter. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a clean pan.
4) Heat soup over low heat. Add remaining 1/2 cup water to thin if desired. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle into soup bowls and top each serving with green onions. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.







One Year Ago Today: Conchas - Mexican Shell-Shaped Pastry















Two Years Ago Today: Drop Biscuits with Cheddar Cheese and Garlic Butter


41 comments :

Rambling Tart said...

I love this soup, Mary! We used to make it and pour it over rice, then pile on all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Delicious! :-)

Pure Complex said...

Wow,, this west African peanut soup looks absolutely delicious and wonderful. Thanks for sharing this recipe.. I wouldn't mind making this

Premalatha Aravindhan said...

Hi Mary,

Happy New Year Dear...
Delicious and comfort soup for this climate...luks gr8! Have a Nice Day:)

Ginny said...

This recipe does look good, and I enjoyed reading this information, I had no idea.

Priya said...

Super healthy and definitely satisfying delicious soup..

MissB said...

Another delicious soup... lovelly!
Kisses :*

bellini said...

This does sound perfect for these wintry days mary.

Amarendra said...

A perfect winter-warmer.. Too good.

Becki's Whole Life said...

I saw Carla Hall Make this on "The Chew" last month and I thought the flavors sounded wonderful. Particularly the sweet potato with the peanut butter. This sounds delicious and very comforting.

Kim said...

It's not the first time I see this kind of soup. I'm positively curious about the taste. I shall try it!

Jenn said...

I've always wanted to make a peanut soup, but Chris keeps telling me no... next time I'm not listening to him!! This looks and sounds wonderful.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never tried West African food!

Virginia Belle said...

Great recipe! My fiance's best friend makes this dish and it is quiet popular among the household! I've always wondered how it was made, now I can take a shot at it myself!

Pegasuslegend said...

What arich looking soup peanut sounds amazing!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

This looks wonderful - I once made a peanut soup based on a Williamsburg recipe, that was more "Virginia style." Interesting to think about the West African influence on U.S. plantation culture.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I always enjoy the history behind so many of the recipes that you prepare. This sounds like a great dish for this time of the year.

Jacquelyn said...

Such beautiful and creamy soup. I think this would be delicious topped on sautéed chicken.

Eliana said...

What an incredible combination of flavors you have going here Mary. This soup looks and sounds super delicious.

David said...

Mary, This soup sounds very interesting...and I'll have to try it as a sauce with chicken...sounds even better! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Claudia said...

This is just beautiful. My soup-soul is in love.

Vicki Bensinger said...

This sounds wonderful - creamy smooth with a bit of a kick!

Simona Mastantuono said...

very delicious your soup

Sue/the view from great island said...

I've always wanted to try this, I love peanuts in savory foods.

Farmer Jo said...

This is a soup on my regular rotation! I adore it, especially over a big bowl of rice. Cheap and yummy

Adele @ The Dutch Door Kitchen said...

Mary, your posts and recipes are encouraging me to explore different cuisines! Thanks for sharing!

Rita said...

I often wondered about this recipe; great too find a friend who actually made it; looks so good Mary!
Rita

Suzi said...

Thanks for stopping by earlier. I am now a happy follower of your blog. This soup looks divine. I am goingto have to try this. I love your photos and the colors also. Have a wonderful day.

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Hey Mary, I'm so glad you visited my blog. I love your recipes, especially the West African soup. I'm so glad we connected!

France@beyondthepeel said...

I've seen a few peanut butter African soups before and have been tempted to try them. I think the flavors sound great. For some reason they never come to mind when we're thinking of lunch ideas. I've bookmarked it so I don't forget!

une recette une minute said...

I can't wait to try this recipe, it looks delicious:)
I wish you a great day!

Barbara said...

Beautiful recipe and perfect in that bowl, Mary!

teresa said...

oh wow, i've never had anything like this, it looks just wonderful!

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

Hello Mary~ It's always nice stopping by for a visit.
I enjoy your posts and the eye candy you so generously share. This is the prefect soup for this time of year.
I've got a couple questions...first one, I couldn't get the link to work for your Concha recipe. Could you let me know where to find it? Second is...are the garlic cheese biscuits similar to Red Lobsters biscuits?
I hope you can stop by to see the Valentine surprises I've got in store. This week starting with...Pain au Chocolat. I'll put the kettle on for a nice cup of tea.
Sweet wishes,
Sara

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, This soup sounds delicious and hearty. I am sure that I would enjoy it. Blessings, Catherine xo

Engineers Love Cooking said...

Hello, please visit my blog at http://cooking-engineer.blogspot.com/ for local Malaysian dishes that I have tried. Thanks.

Giulia said...

Thanks for visiting, I follow the posts from Google Reader.
Regards Julia

Joanne said...

Okay so let me get this straight..sweet potatoes AND peanut butter AND possibly plantain dumplings? Heaven in a bowl.

The Harried Cook said...

This sounds absolutely delicious! I love peanuts in savory dishes... Thanks for sharing this, Mary!

Juliana said...

Wow Mary, I never had peanut soup...well, I had as a dessert, but not with savory. Looks and sounds very flavorful with carrots and onion. Would love to try this out.
Hope you are having a great week :-)

mia xara said...

Hi Mary,this is one very interesting soup,I've never tried any soup with peanut butter..Have a great day,XO

Jeanette said...

Mary - I've always been intrigued by this recipe. I must try it soon!

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