Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soup and...Peanut Butter?

I'm a firm believer that nut butter can solve almost any of life's problems--culinary or otherwise.

Remember the dad in the film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding?" He had a steadfast obsession with Windex, and a strong faith that it truly made the world go 'round.

I'm basically the nut butter version of the Big Fat Greek Dad.

Given my significant attachment to America's favorite pantry staple, it should come as no surprise that I would even love a tomato-based soup...with peanut butter. And not just a spoon-sized dollop--we're talking a full cup of the all-natural, freshly-ground stuff.

Enter the Moosewood Collective's West-African Peanut Soup. This thick stew boasts flavor from sweet potatoes, spicy tomato juice, and a big ol' scoop of peanut butter. It's definitely my favorite winter soup recipe, so I was thrilled when Adam wrote it into this week's menu (a full month before winter arrives!). It's even better the next day, so I'm already pumped for Wednesday's lunch-time leftovers.

Have a lovely Tuesday, and enjoy your soup. And remember: You don't need a bottle of Windex to solve your problems. A jar of peanut butter and a spoon will work just fine.

West-African Peanut Soup
(a recipe from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook)

This soup is hearty and filling--perfect for a main course. Serve with a green salad and garnish with chopped peanuts and a little chopped spinach. Looking to carry the peanut butter theme through the entire meal? Try some Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk Chocolate Frosting for dessert.

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • a little olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups canned tomato juice
  • 1 cup chunky natural peanut butter
  • Optional: crushed red pepper for topping
1) Heat a little olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened. Add cayenne, garlic, fresh ginger, and carrots, and saute for about 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock and potatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

2) In a food processor, puree the soup (we left about 1 cup of veggies un-processed, just to add a little texture). Return the pureed soup to the soup pot, and stir in tomato juice and peanut butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Gently reheat the soup until heated through. Serve with chopped peanuts and/or chopped spinach as a garnish.


  1. PB soup is GREAT! A lot of African soups use PB in their base. I love that this has a full CUP of it - and sweet potatoes, yum!

  2. Oh, man! I am all over this! I've never had a soup with peanut butter in it, but every ingredient is something I like. Plus, you can't go wrong with Moosewood. :)

    Love the Windex reference! That and the bundt part are my favorite things to quote from that movie. :)

  3. Thank you for sharing West African food - African is always something that's on my mental to-do list, but quite honestly, it hasn't made it's vogue in the cookbook or food-blogging world, so I'm nervous about where to start!

  4. I've always loved peanut butter- this soup sounds awesome!

  5. I made this a while ago and then again recently I love it! Here is the recipe I used!
    Yours looks amazing though so I need to give it a try!

  6. I am with you on loving nut butter :) And My Big Fat Greek Wedding was such a good movie -- I loved it. I remember when Jason and I got engaged my parents had us watch it with them.

  7. I will be making this--it sounds great. Thanks for sharing it! I love peanut butter, and am a firm believer in African soup ever since I made an amazing African stew from the Kayotic Kitchen blog.

  8. This is a wonderful soup. I've made something similar before, and the nut butter gives it that something extra that's special.

  9. Hey Kylie...

    Just want to say thank you so much for following, supporting, and commenting on my blog. I'm studying for occupational therapy boards ); so I really think social worker is a perfect job for you. You're an amazing person. I still feel that you should work for a food magazine or something!

    I haven't posted anything on my blog and I'm not too sure if I will post again. But for now, blogging is not a right time for me.

    Once again,
    Thanks, K!

    Lurve, Diana the Yummiee Cupcake.

  10. This soup reminds me of some my Oma (grandmother) used to make every year at Thanksgiving.. she isn't from America and she read once that Thomas Jefferson served peanut soup at his Thanksgiving so she wanted to too! ha

    The fact that you love PB as much as I do will gladly keep me coming back for more :)

  11. mmm sounds great! i'm always a fan of african food since i studied abroad in lesotho and cameroon in college!

  12. My husband would love this! He's a peanut butter addict. I need to get him some help ;)

  13. I made a similar soup a while back with curry in it. I also used squash and carrots in addition to sweet potato:

    Why I had never put peanut butter in soup before that is beyond me. It's AMAZING.
    Plus it makes the soup higher in calories so it really is a meal in itself.