Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Recipe: African Peanut Soup

The name of this soup is a little deceiving.  While peanuts play a large role in flavor, it's sweet potatoes and tomatoes that are the bulk of the recipe.  Perfect for the rainy, cool weather we've had lately.  I served with some homemade bread and a salad, but this could also be a stew served over rice if you reduce the liquid a little, don't puree and leave the peanuts whole.

After I made this, I pondered if fresh ginger counted as a seasoning or a vegetable...meaning, is using non-local ginger a cheat in my local eating challenge?  I think of it more as a seasoning b/c I don't recall are recipe where you *just* eat ginger.  And it stores well.  Hmmmmmm...Does ginger even grow in the greater DC area?!?

Source: Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground cloves
3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
2 large (or about 1.5 lbs) sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped (I'd leave the peel on if you're doing a stew version of this for extra nutrients)
1 carrot, chopped
4.5 c water
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 c chopped, dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter (Ms. Emmon's recipe calls for 2 tbsp, but I think a little extra is needed)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro, optional

1. In soup pot, heat a bit of oil over medium heat and saute onion for about 10 minutes or until brown around the edges.
2. Add ginger, garlic and spices.  Cook for another 3 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, sweet potatoes and carrot.  Cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add water and a good pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and cook 30 min. or until sweet potatoes and carrots are tender.
5. Add peanut butter.
6. With immersion blender, puree until smooth.  (You can also use food processor or blender, but do not fill the containers all the way when you blend--warm liquid expands!  It might be safer to let it cool a bit too before you puree).
7. Add peanuts & top with cilantro (if using). Enjoy!


  1. Yep! Ginger's in season now at the farmers markets here in DC. It's great stuff, really bright and fresh tasting.

  2. Awesome! I'll keep an eye out for it.

    This challenge has really opened my eyes up to things I just sort of took for granted and didn't really think about where it came from. I thought I was a pretty "aware" eater, too!

  3. Love it when I learn something new - I'll have to seek out the ginger on Saturday!

  4. YUM!

    I make peanut/sweet potato soups all the time, and they're AWESOME together.

    In fact, I actually ran out of peanuts, so I made "peanut butter" out of sunflower and sesame seeds instead. Tastes alright, but it's not quite the same.

    This is why I love fall and winter veggies more than summer ones. ::drools::