African Squash and Peanut Soup
May 01, 2009 by bartolimu | 1 Comments| Share it:
Africans have been combining peanuts with squash (especially pumpkin) since the 16th century. It’s a good combination; the squash’s natural sweetness is balanced by the richness of peanuts. A bit of chili heat and other spices round out this excellent soup.
- 3 winter squash I used two butternut and one acorn
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
- 4 medium/large onions
- ~2 quarts broth or stock (Vegetable broth is great and would make this meal entirely vegetarian; I used chicken)
- 1-2 jalapenos or other moderately hot chiles
- 3-4 Tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 collection spices (see below)
What's in that little bowl of spices? 1/8 teaspoon coriander 1/8 teaspoon cumin 1/8 teaspoon turmeric 1/4 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika (Spanish is an inferior product) 1 pinch (or perhaps a smidge) ground cinnamon 1 pinch (or perhaps a smidge) ground cloves That may not seem like much spice, but the idea here is to support the primary squash and peanut butter flavor, not overwhelm it.
Clean and seed the squash and sweet potato. Slice them into 1.5-inch chunks, coat lightly with peanut oil and bake at 350 for 1 hour or more, until soft and lightly browned.
Closeup of squash and sweet potato:
Slice the onions semi-finely.
Put them in a pan with 2 Tablespoons peanut oil and caramelize them.
This is a long process (it might even take longer than the squash, depending on the surface area of your pan) so don't rush it. Your patience will be rewarded.
Finely dice the jalapeno(s).
Remove the squash and sweet potato from their skins and put in a pot with the onions (save a few for garnish), jalapeno(s) and some peanut oil.
Saute at medium-high heat until the chiles start to sweat. Stir frequently to avoid sticking/scorching. Add broth/stock to cover, then add the peanut butter.
Stir to combine, then simmer for ~15 minutes. Before serving, hit the soup with a stick blender until wonderfully smooth.
Serve your African Squash and Peanut Soup.
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