Recipe: Vegetarian West African Peanut Soup

I admit it.  I’m a girl from the North, so when my CSA bin arrived with collard greens inside…I had NO clue what to do with them.  None.  And while I lived in Birmingham, Alabama for six years…I was never one for southern-style cooking.  Just ask any of my friends and co-workers.  I was not having any of it.  So…collard greens had me stumped.

So, I did what any good Northern girl would do when staring at collard greens and trying to figure out a good way to use them before they went bad (because we waste NOTHING!).  I hit up Pinterest.  And…much to my delight, found a soup recipe (and I love soup!) that incorporated collard greens and pretty much (save for a red onion and an extra box of organic veggie broth) everything I already had in my pantry.  Seriously!  So…I figured I would give it a try.

Let me tell you…this soup is so easy to make.  One pot.  That’s all you need.  I used my Dutch oven to cook everything up and it was just…easy.  And smelled really good.  I know…some of you might wonder how these ingredients all come together.  Like…tomato paste and peanut butter…but it works.  Just trust me.  If you like Pad Thai…you’ll appreciate this soup.  That’s what it smells and tastes like…minus the noodles and chicken and all that stuff.  I got this recipe from Cookie + Kate…and it was a flavor sensation of pure perfection.

Recipe: Vegetarian West African Peanut Soup

Vegetarian West African Peanut Soup

Vegetarian West African Peanut Soup

Servings: 6-8
Time: Prep 10 minutes; Cook 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or kale), ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch strips
  • 3/4 cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth…I used chunky so I wouldn’t have to buy peanuts to garnish)
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • Hot sauce, like Sriracha
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)

 

Directions:

In a medium Dutch oven or stock pot, bring the broth to a boil.

Add the onion, ginger, garlic and salt.  Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

In a medium-sized, heat-safe mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and tomato paste, then transfer 1 to 2 cups of the hot stock to the bowl.  Whisk the mixture together until smooth, then pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and mix well.

Stir in the collard greens and season the soup with hot sauce to taste.

Simmer for about 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often.

Serve over cooked brown rice if you’d like, and top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.

~*~*~

Like I said…it’s like liquid Pad Thai.  And I love Pad Thai.  It sounds odd…but trust me…the flavors are there.  You can make it as mild or as spicy as you want.  I kept mine near the middle, because while I love spicy foods, my roommate is a “heat wimp” (her words).  So…I found the happy medium there.  This soup is just delicious and honestly…couldn’t be easier to make.  It didn’t take much time to get the ingredients ready and then you just let it cook, stirring every now and again.  I do recommend using chunky peanut butter.  It is just awesome.

So…if you are looking for a different soup to try…totally give this one a shot.  I promise…you’ll like it.  You might even love it…like me.

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