RCP: East African Peanut Soup

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RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:58 pm

I received this recipe from a guide on our trip to Botswana last year. As a peanut butter lover, this is a great hot or cold soup -- I tend to add "just a little" extra peanut butter.

East-African Peanut Soup

Ingredients:

1 – 2 Onions, diced
2 tbsp vegetables oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp cumin, ground
1 tbsp coriander, ground
6 carrots, sliced
4 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 – 2 liter water
4 cup tomato juice
1 – 2 cup peanut butter
Salt & Pepper

Method

Sauté the onion, ginger, garlic and spices in the vegetable oil.
Add the carrots and sweet potato and sauté for a further 5 min.
Add the water and simmer until the carrots and sweet potato are tender.
Remove from the stove and puree. Add the peanut butter and tomato juice.
Milk can be added if the consistency is too thick
Season to taste.
Serve hot or chilled.
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Paul B. » Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:19 pm

Bob, many thanks for this recipe. I've long had an attachment to all things African, although African cuisine seems to be a neglected genre in Toronto's restaurant scene at least. I would love to try this recipe.

Having said that, I have never liked peanut butter - I hope that its presence in the soup doesn't make it too salty. I suppose I can add a lesser amount at first and then adjust upwards to the right level.
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:27 pm

We grind our own peanuts here, Paul -- the Market Basket has a very good mill. As I've mentioned elsewhere, we minimize salt in our foods here as much as possible.

Once I used Skippy creamy -- it was fine but a bit sweet.
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Christy M. » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:38 pm

Thanks for sharing. I love groundnut stew, as it's often referred to in West Africa. If you can get ahold of palm oil, it adds a wonderful flavor.
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:45 pm

Bob Ross wrote:East-African Peanut Soup


Good one, Bob! It should probably be noted that a teaspoon of cayenne can be pretty warmish ... this is not a mild soup. :)

We occasionally make a version here that I've always thought was West African - pretty similar, but you also take a whole green bell pepper, pull out the seeds and ribs, and cut the pepper horizontally into thin rings, putting them in to simmer in the soup for the last few minutes, just long enough to let them cook to crisp-tender. Tastes great, looks pretty, too.
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:35 am

Cayenne -- fair point, Robin.

The recipe is as handed to me -- I should have expanded my cook's note to indicate that in our house cayenne is "to taste", as well as adding extra peanut butter.

In fact, I don't care for the "heat"; Janet likes it much more; so we add the cayenne and salt after the cooking is done. My experience is that as long as the cayenne is mixed well, the taste isn't any different if it's added after the soup is cooked.

I like your variation -- I'll try it next time I crave a peanut butter moment. Thanks for the recipe -- and the recipe writing advice.

Regards, Bob
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:33 am

Bob Ross wrote:Thanks for the recipe -- and the recipe writing advice.


Glad to help, Bob, although it was hardly recipe writing advice! More just a case of, "wooeee, Bob, that's gonna be one spicy bowl of peanut butter!" :D
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:51 am

"... hardly recipe writing advice!"

I hate to disagree with the master [:-)], but you make a valid point about sharing recipes. When following recipes, I often skip ingredients -- salt in particular, but the cayenne and pepper in this recipe as well.

Your recipes, and Jenise's, are written the way you actually make the dishes, and your cook's notes are an integral part of the directions. I would love to read hints from you, Jenise, Chef and other foodies on how to write good recipes so that people can use them effectively.

I don't think I've every seen a good checklist of how to do so.

Regards, Bob
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:42 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Your recipes, and Jenise's, are written the way you actually make the dishes, and your cook's notes are an integral part of the directions. I would love to read hints from you, Jenise, Chef and other foodies on how to write good recipes so that people can use them effectively.

I don't think I've every seen a good checklist of how to do so.


That's a wonderful idea, Bob. It would make a great topic for one of my FoodLetters, and also a forum thread. Let's start a separate one. I've got two deadline projects today, but I'll come back to this, unless you or Jenise or someone would like to start it in the meantime. :)
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:40 pm

I'll ask for help to kick off a new thread.
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Re: RCP: East African Peanut Soup

Postby Paul B. » Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:57 pm

Just as an aside, I wonder what amount of fresh cayenne pepper is equivalent in perceived heat to a single level teaspoon of the powder. I might be tempted to add horizontal rings of fresh cayenne to the soup in place of the dried/powdered version.
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