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The GOOD Lunch: West African Peanut Soup

Peanut butter in a soup? Really? Believe us: It was delicious!

Today’s GOOD Lunch soup was prepared by Zak Stone and adapted from a recipe in The New York Times (we took out the chicken).

West African Peanut Soup

Makes 8 servings

The Ingredients:

1 ½ cups roasted and shelled peanuts
4 tablespoons peanut oil (okay to substitute with grapeseed oil)
2 medium red or white onions, chopped
12 cups vegetable stock or water
4 sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into thick slices
8 plum tomatoes, cored and halved (canned are fine; drain and reserve liquid for another use)
1 pound collards or kale, washed and cut into wide ribbons
1/2 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth.
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
Pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

The Method:

• Chop peanuts, or crush them with the side of a knife, or pulse them in a food processor to chop roughly.
• Put oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
• Add 1/2 cup peanuts and the cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
• Stir in the stock/water and the sweet potatoes, bring to a boil, and turn heat down to medium-low so the soup bubbles gently.
• Stir in tomatoes and collards, then cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
• Stir in 1/2 cup peanut butter.
• Taste, adjust seasoning (you may want to add more peanut butter at this point) and serve, garnished with remaining peanuts.

The Breakdown:

How did our soup rate in terms of taste and cost and prep time?

Cost: $22 ($2.75 per serving)
Prep Time: 1.5 hours
Taste: 2.5 stars
The peanuts created an unexpected and pleasant sweetness to the otherwise veggie-heavy hearty soup. Be sure to chop the large and soft vegetables (sweet potatoes, tomatoes) into small sizes to allow for a full spoonful of flavor in every bite!

Every Tuesday and Thursday in 2011, the GOOD team is cooking and sharing a big bowl of healthy, vegetarian, seasonal soup or salad. This time last week we were enjoyed an easy 3 star Lentil Soup. Leave us a note in the comments if you have any suggestions for next week's soup—we'd appreciate any ideas, especially as we edge into spring and warmer weather.

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