This is my simple/inexpensive to make but complex and delicious spin on West African peanut soup. If you crave nourishing fall flavours like I do at this time of year, give this recipe a try!
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 knob ginger, minced
- 1 vidalia onion
- Grapeseed oil
- Ras el hanout
- Sea salt or Maldon salt
- 1 bunch rapini
- 1 big can crushed tomatoes (1 quart?)
- 1 yam (I used a purple yam for colour but use whatever you have)
- 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (the good kind that separates into oil and paste)
In a pot of cold water, bring the yam, peeled and cubed, to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Keep pot on low heat while you prep the main soup pot.
In a Dutch oven, fry the garlic, ginger and onion, finely diced, in a couple tablespoons of oil until browned. Scorch it a little to get more of a smoky flavour.
Add ras el hanout and/or spices to taste, stirring into the onion mixture to bring out the aromas. I used about 1.5 tablespoons. You will find the flavours dilute as you keep adding ingredients so you can always optionally start with less and add more, but this stage is when the spices become their most flavourful.
Add the chopped rapini and cook until the rapini turns a brighter green. Season with a bit of salt to taste.
Add the can of crushed tomatoes and stir. Keep everything on medium heat.
In a small bowl, carefully mix your peanut butter with a ladle or two of the simmering yam water to make a smooth, watery paste. Add to the Dutch oven and stir to incorporate.
In the yam pot, smash some of the yam against the side of the pot to disintegrate the starch. This will help build a lovely texture in your soup. Then dump everything, including the yams and the yam water, into the Dutch oven. Stir to incorporate.
Simmer on low for 10-15 minutes or until everything has had a chance to cook together for a bit and meld. Season further with spices and salt to taste. Makes one big pot.
Why not keep the warm and fuzzy train ride going? I’d pair this with a velvety, fruity and slightly spicy Australian Shiraz, a southern French Grenache-based wine, or a Corsican red – something with medium or less tannins to better indulge in the smooth texture of your soup. Cheers!