West African Peanut Soup

Holy moly!  Sometimes the things you learn about people surprise you – in a totally impressed & suddenly feel like an unaccomplished slob sort of way.  I have found myself recently so impressed by what one young individual has been able to accomplish that I wonder what the heck kind of stagnant, lazy brain I must have comparatively.  Now I do not wonder this out of envy but out of sheer amazement!   This individual is humble beyond reason and superbly polite.  They have two ivy league degrees and a professional resume that would impress even the most accomplished professional.

This is a classic case of “don’t judge a book by its cover.”  This young man should give past and future generations hope that 20-somethings aren’t just a group of entitled, lazy brats.  Although compared to this guy, most of us might as well be.  For someone to be that accomplished and have such a humble spirit is truly a rarity!

Now this “don’t judge a book” rule, doesn’t just apply to people and well, books.  It applies to other unassuming but secretly wonderful things…. like this warm West African curry-like Peanut Soup.

My skeptical nature was on all kinds of high alert with this one.  I admit, peanut soup sounds rather unappealing, but after one hearty bite, I was in peanut soup heaven.

Not convinced?  Here are a few more reasons to love peanut soup:

  1. You probably have all the ingredients already
  2. It can be made in 30 minutes or less!
  3. Great way to get picky eaters to eat dark leafy greens
  4. Great source of protein
  5. Can be made vegetarian or not
  6. Did you read reason #1?

IMG_2208.JPG

One thing to note is that this isn’t really a soup, its more of a curry and is designed to be served over brown rice or a grain of your choosing.  I made it for a last minute dinner crowd not long ago and now, this “soup” is one of the most requested dishes from our kitchen.  Call it comfort food.  Call it soul food.  Call it what you will, but please, promise that you will try it before casting it off into the weird recipe abyss.  You will be very pleasantly surprised!

West African Peanut Soup

  • 4-5 cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I use chicken)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbl. fresh grated peeled ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 tsp. salt (+ more to taste)
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard or collard greens, stems and ribs removed
  • 3/4 cup smooth unsalted natural peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste (approx. 1 small 5.5-6 oz. can)
  • Optional: up to 1 lb. chicken, cooked and cut into 1″ pieces
  • Sriracha (I let everyone season their own bowl as much as they want)
  • Approx. 1/2 cup peanuts for garnish

In a large pot with a lid, bring 4 cups of the stock to a boil, add onion, ginger, garlic and 1.5 tsp. salt.

In a separate heat safe bowl and tomato paste, peanut butter, and 2 cups of the heated broth.  Stir until thoroughly combined and then transfer to the remaining boiled broth.

Simmer for about 10 more minutes on med-low heat until thickens slightly.  Add more broth as needed.

Add greens and simmer for 5 more minutes.  If you are adding chicken, add that now as well.  Taste to see if more salt is needed.  I add a very small amount of Sriracha at this point and allow guests to add more as desired.

Serve individually a-top cooked brown rice and garnish with generous sprinkle of chopped peanuts!

IMG_2210.JPG

Try not to smile too widely while you are eating this deliciousness and thinking how silly you were for doubting the wonders of peanut soup.  I say this to save you from any dribbles down your shirt… And, this deliciousness is not something that any amount of stain remover can resolve. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s