Posts tagged: peanut

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.

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolateWinter is here (sort of) and that means hot chocolate (or hot cocoa if you prefer).¬† I always make my hot chocolate¬†from scratch, and while there are plenty of mixes, it is neither hard nor time consuming to make hot chocolate yourself. While there is nothing wrong with hot chocolate from a mix (yes there is), if you want to make a memorable hot chocolate there is no better method than using the simplest of ingredients and taking the few minutes to mix it yourself. I like to one up everyone else by turning my hot chocolate into a liquid Reese’s peanut butter cup. It only takes a few minutes to make and you will not regret dirtying a pot for such a delicious treat.

Ingredients:
2 tsp cocoa powder (I prefer Droste, but any high quality cocoa powder will do)
2 heaping tsp sugar
1 cup +1 tsp milk
1 heaping tsp smooth peanut butter

Directions:
1. Heat 1 cup of milk in a pot until steaming .

2. Combine the cocoa powder and sugar in a cup.

3. Add 1 tsp of milk to the cup and stir the cocoa powder and sugar until you make a paste.

4. Add the warm milk to the cup, and stir until the paste has mixed well.

5. Add the peanut butter and stir slowly until it has melted into the hot chocolate.

6. Drink and think about how much better your hot chocolate is than your friends’.

N.B. There are a number of things that you can add instead of peanut butter to make a fantastic, warm winter drink. Try any of the following for something interesting: cinnamon, instant coffee, hazelnut liqueur (Frangelico), almond liqueur (Amaretto), peppermint schnapps, whipped cream, orange zest, vanilla, Nutella, or anything else that you like with your chocolate. Or do as the Aztecs did and add a bit of chili pepper, it is pretty interesting (while they didn’t use milk, who cares?)


French Hot Chocolate on Foodista