Peanut Soup is Your Weeknight Savior
Have you ever had a peanut butter sandwich with a bowl of vegetable soup? What if you combined all those flavors into one delicious dish? West African Peanut Soup is much better than that, but you get the picture. Creamy peanut butter, savory vegetables, and all in one steamy bowl of comfort.
West African Peanut Soup is a classic plant-based stew, made in many forms in the regions of Africa it came from, and also in the places where West Africans have settled around the world. The peanut, or groundnut, originated in South America, and was taken to Europe by the Spanish Colonialists, then traders took the plant to Africa. Peanuts grew well in the region, providing a rich, high-protein base for a meal.
Fast, Inexpensive, and Really Delicious
Keep your pantry stocked with a jar of peanut butter, a can of tomato puree, a box of vegetable stock, a can of kidney beans, and onion and some garlic, some millet and spices, and you are set up to make this soup. If you absolutely can’t have some fresh kale or other greens on hand, it wouldn’t be bad to use frozen kale. Making the peanut soup takes less time than it takes to cook the millet, so if you are in a genuine rush, you can serve it with flatbreads or quinoa.
Peanut soup is even a good prep item, and a batch can stay in the fridge for several days, allowing you to heat it up whenever hunger hits.
Peanut butter is my bestie, and when we went into quarantine, I made sure to have several jars on hand. It keeps, you can eat it without cooking, heck, you can eat it with a spoon. The fact that I can use the stuff I smear on bagels to make a savory peanut soup just fills me with delight.
If you are peanut allergic, you can make this soup with sunflower butter, or the pea butter that is now available from Canada. Peanut butter is an excellent source of B-vitamins, minerals, mono and polyunsaturated fats, and fiber. It’s a very low glycemic index food, which makes it good for stabilizing blood sugars. It’s even recommended to promote heart health.
But when it comes right down to it, we just love peanut butter for it’s nutty taste and creamy texture, with the option for crunch thrown in. African Groundnut stew was the great grandmother of this versatile staple, and we have come full circle, by making groundnut stew with American peanut butter.
If you love peanut butter as much as I do, you’ll want to put this delicious dish into regular rotation at your house. Definitely watch the video, subscribe to my you tube channel, and check out my upcoming cooking classes, too.
West African Peanut Soup
- 1 cup millet
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 cup peanut butter natural
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Start the millet first: place the dry millet in a small saucepan and swirl over medium-high heat. When the grain is hot and smells like popcorn, add the turmeric and salt, swirl to mix, then add the water. When it comes to a boil, cover tightly and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes, until the water is all absorbed.
- In a 4 quart pot, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir, can cook until the onions start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir, occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
- When the onions are very soft, stir in the paprika, coriander and cayenne, and stir for a few seconds.
- In a cup, whisk the peanut butter with about half a cup of stock, and when smooth, whisk in the remaining stock. Stir into the onions in the pot.
- Stir in the tomatoes, then bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes, until slightly thickened, then add the kidney beans, kale and salt. Simmer until the kale is softened and deep green.
- Serve peanut soup over the millet.