PEANUT SOUP, SENEGALESE STYLE 2
This soup is based on the colorful, chunky peanut ("groundnut") dishes of West Africa. It's filled with vegetables, and a bowlful topped with a scoop of simply cooked millet, or almost any other grain, easily makes a meal.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 45 minutes
• 3/4 cup roasted and shelled peanuts
• 2 tablespoons peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
• 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• Pinch cayenne or more or less to taste
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 6 cups vegetable stock or water
• 2 (about 1 pound) sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into thick slices
• 8 to 12 plum tomatoes, cored and halved (canned are fine; drain and reserve liquid for another use)
• 1/2 pound collards or kale, washed thoroughly and cut into wide ribbons
• 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1. Use the flat side of a wide knife or cleaver or a small food processor to break the peanuts into large pieces.
2. Put the oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the peanuts and the cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in the Stock and the sweet potatoes, bring to a boil, and turn the heat down to medium-low so that the soup bubbles gently. Partially cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes, collards, and peanut butter. Cover and cook until the collards are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve, garnished with the remaining peanuts.
Creamy Peanut Soup. Like velvet, but peanutty velvet:
Omit the collards or kale. In Step 3, along with the peanut butter, stir in 1 cup heavy cream, rice milk, or coconut milk, (canned, use 1/2 can, slightly less than 1 cup, with a little water). Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pan. Or cool the mixture slightly, pour into a blender, and puree carefully. Gently reheat the soup, taste and adjust the seasoning, and garnish with the remaining peanuts.