Velvety, comforting, with familiar flavors and so much room for playing around!
In Senegal, you can buy bottles of peanuts for peanuts (ha!), making it a popular soup there. The variations are endless! I love using a quality peanut butter like CB Nuts (Texas grown/Washington roasted) and many stores will let you grind your own which is an amazing thing.
Senegalese Peanut Soup
2 T vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Finely-chopped stems from 1 small bunch cilantro (coriander), about 1/4 cup chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 T curry powder
3 cups (750 ml) vegetable stock
2 (14oz/400 g) cans diced tomatoes in juice
2/3 cup (150 g) natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 (14-oz./403 ml) organic unsweetened coconut milk
8 oz (250g) fresh spinach, tough stems discarded, washed and sliced into ribbons, or washed baby spinach
Optional additions: 1-2 cups of potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, eggplant, corn, green beans, chicken, shrimp or fish
Salt and pepper, to taste
Handful chopped cilantro or Italian parsley leaves for garnish
Cooked rice, millet or couscous for serving
In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium heat, then add the onion, carrots, garlic and cilantro stems. Cook until the onion has softened and turned golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, and fry until fragrant, about a minute more.
Add the veggie stock and tomatoes, including all their juices. If adding any optional items, add them now (shrimp or fish should be added in the last five minutes of cooking).
Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let cook gently until the carrots are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk and spinach and continue cooking until the spinach is soft and the soup has thickened, another ten minutes. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve hot alongside the cooked grain of your choice, garnished with chopped cilantro.
Adapted from a recipe on of my favorite cooking blogs: Traveler’s Lunchbox by Melissa Kronenthal