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Essential Best Foods Cookbook
by Dana Jacobi
When singer Angelique Kidjo introduced me to a West African dish with a sauce resembling classic tomato soup blended with creamy peanut butter, I realized the sauce on its own would make a great soup. To add some crunch, garnish with a few plantain chips if desired.
Makes 4 servings


• 1 pounds beefsteak-type tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1" chunks
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
• 2 cloves garlic, grated
• 1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
• 1 tablespoon agave syrup, or 1-2 teaspoons sugar
• 1/4 cup reduced-fat (2%) milk, optional
• Salt and freshly ground pepper

Whirl the tomatoes and onion in a food processor, to a pulpy puree. There should be about 4 cups. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up what sticks, until aromatic and lightly colored, about 1 minute. Add the tomato-onion mixture. When it boils, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup is orange-red and plops from a spoon, about 10 minutes.

3. Off the heat, whisk in the peanut butter, tomato paste, coriander, marjoram, and syrup or sugar. Add the milk, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return to the heat. Cook until hot but not bubbling. Divide the soup among 4 small bowls and serve.

Another Way: Add red-pepper flakes or mix in some chopped steamed broccoli.
To transform this soup into a main dish as served in Benin, add thick fish fillets, chicken breast, or tofu steaks along with the tomato mixture during Step 2. Simmer until they are almost cooked through, then remove carefully. Return to the sauce after adding the peanut butter.

Food Fact: Peanut butter provides protein and resveratrol, the same antioxidant found in red wine.

Best Ingredient: Agave is a honey-like natural sweetener made from cactus.

Nutrition: Per serving: 341 calories. 24 g fat, 3 g saturated fat. 10 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber



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