Peanuts and sweet potatoes are dietary staples in many parts of Africa. This savory recipe combines them with warming spices and lycopene-rich tomatoes to make a soup that perks up the palate, nourishes the body, and warms the soul.
Flavorful and substantial, this soup pleases with its intriguing tastes and textures. Imagine stirring it with a wooden spoon as the mouth-watering aromas rise from the pot bubbling over the cooking fire. An offering of good taste and good health for those you love:
1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, with juice
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 1/2 cups water
Salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne (optional)
1/4 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add onion, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown. Add garlic, ginger, and spices and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Add water and salt, bring mixture to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer soup 30 minutes.
3. Using a blender, food processor, or hand-held immersion blender, puree the soup until nearly smooth. Add peanuts, peanut butter, and cayenne, if using, and whisk to combine thoroughly.
4. Gently reheat soup and serve hot, topped with cilantro.
Inspired by Vegetarian Planet, by Didi Emmons (Harvard Common Press, 1997).