African Peanut Chicken Soup

African Chicken and Peanut SoupThis surprisingly delicious soup may sound odd to westerners, but the combination of peanut butter, tomatoes, and spices is truly a marvel of gastronomic achievement. Peanut is a definite presence in the soup, but is not the dominant flavor, which may sound impossible, but hey, would I lie to you? This is probably my favorite soup of all time. You can easily make a vegetarian version by using vegetable stock and it will be just as good. It is also so easy to make I force my 6 year old to make it for me as punishment for her misdeeds. She misbehaves a lot.

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken stock
as much or as little cooked chicken meat, to your preference
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sweet potato (or 1 15-ounce can of sweet potatoes, drained of syrup)
1 medium Granny Smith apple, chopped
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 15-ounce can of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry
1 tsp cinnamon
salt & pepper to taste

Additional Ingredients (they add a nice background, use at your leisure):
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper (if you like heat)

Directions:
1. Bring the stock to a boil and add the all the ingredients except the chicken meat and peanut butter.

2. Simmer for about 30 minutes, allowing the sweet potato to soften, and then slowly add the peanut butter a bit at a time so that it melts well and into the soup.

3. Puree the soup either with a hand blender, or by transferring the soup to a blender and processing it in batches.

4. Return the pureed soup to the pot, add the chicken, salt and pepper, and serve.

I prefer to make my own stock by putting a whole raw chicken or chicken pieces into a pot of water and boiling for an hour or so. You can then remove the meat and reserve it for later, and cook down the stock until you have about 4 cups. Also, this particular soup is very flexible. Change the amounts of different spices if you would like, I like a lot of cinnamon, which goes so well in this soup that it is astounding. The peanut butter is definitely present in this soup without it being cloying, though, but again, if you prefer more or less, experiment. I also tend to sprinkle a little crushed peanut onto the soup for a garnish when I’m taking a picture for this wildly popular blog, but don’t bother if I’m not serving to guests.

4 Responses to “African Peanut Chicken Soup”

  1. Mary says:

    I must admit, I was skeptical at first, but based on how much I’ve liked your other recipes I decided to give this soup a try. It was fairly simple to make (I love my hand blender!) But, I was not prepared for just how tasty it was!! I thought it would taste a bit like some of the Thai influenced peanut dishes I’ve tried, but this is so different and so good.
    I’m inviting friends over just to serve this dish!

  2. Armandina Cabellero says:

    Chicken soup is a good food, it is not only tasty but it is full of nutrients that is needed from recovering from flu.

  3. Louella Schoemaker says:

    Traditionally, American chicken soup was prepared using old hens too tough and stringy to be roasted or cooked for a short time. In modern times, these fowl are difficult to come by, and broiler chickens (young chickens suitable for broiling or roasting) are often used to make soup; soup hens or fowl are to be preferred when available.

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