African Peanut Soup

May 3, 2013

After last week's bowl of peanut broth-based soup at Chimborazo I wanted to try to make something similar at home, sans catfish.  I found a recipe in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that looked tasty, so I stocked up on the ingredients and started looking forward to an evening of soup making.

But as I started cooking, I had a twinge of doubt.  When the soup's ingredients were mingled in with all of the other items on my grocery list, they hadn't seemed like anything out of the ordinary.  However, in the harsh fluorescent light of my kitchen, it seemed doubtful that tomatoes, curry powder, coconut milk, and peanut butter could be combined to make anything edible, much less delicious.  It had been a rough day, with a morning commute that took an extra hour and snow flurries in May, and the last thing I needed was a soup pot full of disaster.

By now I should just learn to have faith in the Star Tribune's featured recipes.  All of the flavors melded perfectly, albeit unusually, together.  Be sure not to skip the fresh cilantro garnish--the soup needs its brightness to tie everything together.

Adapted from the recipe by Meredith Deeds published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on April 25, 2013


African Peanut Soup Ingredients  
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 medium sweet potatoes cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 13.5 ounce can unsweetened lite coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, for one minute.  Add sweet potatoes, broth, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and brown sugar.  Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.  Garnish with cilantro and peanuts.

African Peanut Soup