West African Chicken and Peanut Soup

Recipe by Jennifer Brule

Born in Ghana, West Africa, this soup’s a rich, addictive mix of sweet, salty and spicy thanks to sweet potatoes, chicken, peanut butter and a godly amount of cayenne pepper. Serve alongside pints of nutty Northern English brown ale.

Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 1½-inch piece ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless
  • chicken breasts
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions:

•     Pour the oil into a large soup pot and set over medium heat. Add in the onion, garlic and ginger, and sauté until the onion is just soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
• Pour the chicken stock and tomatoes into the pot; add the tomato paste and stir. Slip the chicken breasts, sweet potato cubes and red pepper chunks into the soup. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. When the soup begins to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato chunks are soft and the chicken just cooked through.
•     Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Stir in the cayenne pepper and peanut butter. Purée the soup using an immersion blender, or use a blender, working in batches. Shred or chop the chicken, and add it to the soup. Reheat gently if necessary, season with salt and serve each cup with a garnish of chopped peanuts.



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