Thursday, January 8, 2009

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

sweet potato and peanut soup

Last week I shared with you my first New Year's resolution: eat more hamburgers. This week, I will reveal my second resolution: cook more with peanut butter. We are a week into 2009, and so far I'm doing great.

I have been making variations of this soup for nearly 10 years now, after initially spotting a recipe for an African yam and onion soup with peanut butter. The recipe is long gone, but my love for these rich, earthy flavors is still strong.

This is a hearty, nourishing soup that will fill your belly and make you feel warm all over. The meaty sweet potatoes and peanut butter are balanced by sweet pineapple, brown sugar, and creamy coconut milk.

2009 is gonna be a good year.

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup
Makes 4-6 servings
Print recipe only here.

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced in half lengthwise
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup fresh or canned diced pineapple (drain canned pineapple)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy salted peanut butter
1/2 jalapeno (the more the seeds the hotter the flavor)
1 (15 oz) can light coconut milk
salt, to taste

4 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with tinfoil (for easy clean up). Brush the flesh of the sweet potatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil; roast flesh side down for 40-45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Scoop out the flesh and discard the skins.

In a deep pot over medium heat, saute onions and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add cooked potatoes, pineapple, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to low, and add brown sugar, peanut butter, and jalapeno; cook 7-8 minutes. Turn off heat; allow to cool 5-10 minutes before pureeing.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth; return to the pot over low heat. Add the coconut milk and salt, and stir occasionally until the soup is thoroughly combined and heated, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. If you prefer a thinner soup, simply add a bit more water or broth until desired consistency is reached.

Garnish individual bowls with thinly sliced fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts.

Cook and bake more with peanut butter:

String Beans and Tofu with Thai Peanut Butter Sauce

Crunchy Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Mom's Peanut Butter Fudge

Check out these delicious African soups too!

Susan's African Peanut and Yam Soup
Kalyn's African Inspired Crockpot Soup with Peanut Butter
Karina's African Sweet Potato Soup with Black Eyed Peas and Beans