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Sunday, 24 February 2013
West African Peanut Soup--Healthy Vegetarian Anytime!
Topic: Education and Values

Today's blog is under "education" because I want to take the opportunity to promote alternative foods for breakfast time. You know we are heavily marketed on the concept of cereals and "allegedly" whole grains for breakfast--with fruits in various forms like juice, smoothies, fruited yogurts.

But why not consider vegetables for breakfast?

I was “virtually” paging through Pinterest and found a pretty picture for a West African Peanut Soup. When I drilled down to find the recipe, I saw that the authors had formed their recipe by modifying the recipe of yet another chef. So, I knew I'd be doing the same—modifying a recipe to accommodate my needs and resources.

I have never actually looked up a recipe for a West African food. I have made "Jolli rice" from the region, but I followed an actual recipe given to me from a nurse I work with who is from Africa. And, I'd eaten her rice before I had the recipe. (Had she given me the recipe before I tried the rice dish, I would have known exactly what it tasted like just from reading the recipe.)

So, when I looked over the Pinterest authors' ingredient list for West African Peanut Soup, I KNEW it would taste great. I also knew it was healthy and, as written, vegetarian—actually vegan. This was important because I have been wanting to make a soup for two physicians I work with who start their shifts earlier than I do. When I get in at 6AM, they've already been at work for a few hours. They are both vegetarian, one is also vegan. At 6 AM, it's meal time for them and soup is a much better idea than a bowl of cereal or a sweet roll!

So, after seeing the Pinterest recipes, I checked my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer stocks, looked at Wiki for a quick review of what made West African food what it is –and –modified the recipe to suit my resources! I also had to make a bigger batch than the 4 servings the Pinterest recipes yielded, was concerned about their higher carb count and wanted to pack in the nutrients.

Why NOT have a savory soup for breakfast?!!!

West African cuisine is a lot like American deep south and creole cooking. The flavor combinations reflect the access these countries had with trading partners from all over the world—so you see things like ginger and chilis along with tomatoes and the whole gamut of greens. And in this recipe--we have savory-spicy onion, garlic, ginger and protein from peanuts, with colorful, nutrient-dense tomatoes and kale with a base of organic vegetable broth.

Here's my version of :

West African Peanut Soup

2 quarts of certified organic vegetable broth

1 large red onion chopped

2 inch piece of peeled ginger root, pulsed in the food processor with 6 garlic cloves

(see picture below)

1 tsp. Salt


Combine above in a large soup pot, bring to boil, cut back heat to simmer about 15 minutes until the onions are cooked.


1 cup of creamy, natural peanut butter

14 oz. Crushed tomatoes (this is ½ of a 28 oz can, refrigerate the rest because you'll be making this soup again next week—or try to buy the smaller can in the first place)

Whisk the peanut butter-tomato mixture into the broth mixture on the stove and again bring to boil, then cut back to a simmer.

Finally add by stirring in

1 large bunch of kale, chopped into small strips. Should yield about 6-8 cups loosely packed greens. Any kind of kale- flat or curly is fine. You can also use fresh spinach, Swiss chard, or other greens—just be sure to use the tender part of the leaves, not stem or thick veins.

(But, do save all the discarded stems and coarse veins for your chickens-they LOVE greens of all kinds)

Continue to cook about 20 minutes more until the flavors have developed and the greens have cooked down in volume and are limp.

Adjust seasonings by adding more salt and a little cayenne pepper or other ground, hot chili pepper or even a few shakes of hot sauce—according to your taste preferences.



So--try this recipe and serve it--ANYTIME!


Posted by Karen at 14:28 CST
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