West African Peanut Soup

Have I mentioned my wonderful husband who not only cooks for me, but actively enjoys cooking? He has an arsenal of tried and true recipes--both his own creations and recipes that he's modified over the years. One such modification (Gregification?) is this West African Peanut Soup, which comes from the "Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant" cookbook. This is unbelievably delicious. It's so hearty and nutritious and has a nice spicy kick to it. Also, I just realized that it's vegan! It's so rich, creamy, and flavorful that I would never have guessed.

The recipe below is typed up with commentary from Hubster. He is the best, dontcha think?

West African Peanut Soup (from "Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant")
Note: I definitely recommend all the changes I made to the recipe (noted below). Especially, add tofu to the onion when you sauté, and (unless you are wimpy) double the cayenne--it's a pretty mild recipe otherwise. Finally, I recommend not puréeing the whole thing--the texture is rather unpleasantly viscous, and you get more diverse flavors if you don't.

-2 c. chopped onions
-8 oz. extra firm tofu, cubed (not in original recipe)
-1 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil (definitely worth it to buy peanut!)
-1 tsp. cayenne or other ground dried chilies (original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp.)
-2 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger (original recipe calls for 1 tsp.)
-1 c. chopped and peeled carrots
-2 c. chopped and peeled sweet potatoes
-4 c. vegetable stock or water (I recommend the stock; you can buy it, or I have a recipe if you want it; can also substitute all or part chicken stock)
-2 c. tomato juice
-1 cup smooth peanut butter (I highly recommend old fashioned un-homogenized PB, with the oil and solid separate--otherwise, the soup is too sweet)
-1 cup scallions or chives (the recipe notes these are essential, not a garnish, and I agree!)

1. Sauté the onions (and tofu) in the oil until onions just translucent.

2. Stir in the cayenne and fresh ginger. Add the carrots and sauté a couple more minutes.

3. Mix in the potatoes and stock (or water), bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

NOTE: I skipped the puréeing the second time I made it, and liked it a lot more. Instead, I just added the tomato juice in, turned off the heat to prevent scorching, and then stirred in the peanut butter until smooth and well-mixed. If you want to purée, here's the original instructions:

4. In a blender or food processor, purée the vegetables and cooking liquid with the tomato juice. Return the purée to the soup pot. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth.

5. If necessary, reheat the soup gently to prevent scorching of the peanut butter (use a heat diffuser if you want). If you want a thinner soup, you can add more water or stock.

6. Serve topped with plenty of scallions (or chives).

-Serves 6-8


Island Vittles said...

This sounds and looks delicious -- perfect for a cold, sunny day -- which is what we've got here today! Theresa

Belinda @zomppa said...

This soup looks way to flavorful!

Rosy said...

Wow I love the concept of this soup. So many great recipes from Africa that aren't showcased enough. Thanks for posting!

Tiffany said...

Seems like an interesting combination of flavors!

Robbyn said...

I haven't had peanut soup in years! Thanks for refreshing my memory about this.

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