Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Peanut Butter Soup

2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 T veg oil
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14oz) chicken broth
4 c water
2 large yams, peeled & cubed
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t salt
2 c cooked chicken pieces
1/2 c peanuts, crushed

In a soup pot, saute onions & garlic in oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, broth (I used homemade chicken stock), water and yams (I used sweet potatoes).
Cook over medium-low heat for 25 minutes or until yams feel soft (smaller pieces will make this happen quicker).
Stir in the peanut butter, cayenne pepper, and salt; cool for 30 minutes.
Puree the soup in a food processor; pour back into the saucepan and warm.
Sprinkle with the chicken and peanuts.

I didn't bother with putting chicken on top, since there was protein in the peanuts. My Ghanaian friends serve it over soft rice balls--but their recipes are slightly different, too (maybe some of you can post some in the comments?). It wasn't as big a hit with our boys, who are big peanut butter fans, but we loved it & will try it with them again.

Side note: There is a difference between sweet potatoes and yams. They're not related. Yams are tubers like potatoes; sweet potatoes are roots like carrots. But yams are pretty rare in the US--though some sweet potatoes are labeled as yams.

Here's the Library of Congress's explanation: "In the United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first grown commercially, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the ‘soft’ sweet potatoes ‘yams’ because they resembled the yams in Africa. Thus, ‘soft’ sweet potatoes were referred to as ‘yams’ to distinguish them from the ‘firm’ varieties."

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