Nov 19, 2008

Ghanaian Peanut Soup

Here’s a simple, completely unprepared, spontaneous and slightly odd recipe. Spur of the moment thing, so bear with me.

I had quite a bit of leftover mashed potatoes from yesterday’s winter stew and a little extra time on my hands today. The last time I turned them into potato crepes -which is a pretty good way to use them- but I wanted to do something really different this time. Especially for all you Americans with Thanksgiving coming up, you’re bound to have lots and lots of leftovers to experiment with.

Wrecked my brain for a while and then I remembered the Ghanaian peanut soup I’ve made in the past. It’s a fool proof recipe that always turns out great and that most kids love as well. But there’s a catch – the recipe calls for sweet potatoes and not regular ones. Would I dare? Should I dare? Of course, I should!

Just gave it a go, even though I had terrible light to work with today, and tried it with my mashed potatoes. Much to my surprise it wasn’t just as good, it was even better! Definite do-again.

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup sieved tomatoes
1 chicken fillet
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups chicken broth
1 spring onion
1 chili pepper
onion powder
dried parsley
2 tbsp salt
pepper
oil

Optional: celery

Directions:

The weather is bad here. So bad I decided to just omit the celery I usually add rather than go out and buy it. Have to admit I even liked a little better without the celery. The flavor is purer this way.

Chop a medium onion and half a red chili pepper. Slice the other half in small rings for garnish. Grate a garlic clove and I’ve taken 1/2 tsp grated ginger out of my freezer.

Cut up the chicken. It really doesn’t matter if you cut it in tiny pieces, thin strips or even little Mickey Mouse figures, whatever makes you happy as long as you keep them small.

Measure 1/2 cup peanut butter (rub a little oil in first, it’ll slide out then), 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes and I’m using 1/2 cup passata (sieved tomatoes, passata just sounds fancier:). If you don’t have a package stashed somewhere, make it easy on yourself and just add a heaping tbsp tomato paste and about 1/2 a cup extra chicken broth.

Heat 1 tbsp oil and sautee your onions for about 5 minutes. Once they’re slightly translucent, add the chili pepper and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then add your ginger and give everything one or two more minutes.

Now simply stir in the peanut butter and let it melt.

Add the mashed potatoes, tomatoes and stir everything until you end up with a smooth paste. I know, I know, it doesn’t look all too good at this point. Just trust me, ok! Slowly stir in the chicken broth. Whisk as if your life depended on it, it should be all smooth and creamy.

There. Looks much better, doesn’t it?

Now add 2 tbsp sugar (I like a little sweetness, you can also just add one), 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (flavored chili not the hot version) and just sprinkle in some onion powder to taste.

Also add a good pinch of pepper and, just for the fun of it, sprinkle some dried parsley in there as well. Give it a good taste, you might want to add a little salt at this point. I didn’t have to, my chicken broth was salty enough.

Now all that’s left to do is add the chicken, bring everything to a boil and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, until the chicken is properly cooked. That’s all, you’re done.

Garnish with thinly sliced chili pepper and spring onions to get a bit of crunch and extra heat in there. I served the soup with warm, crispy French bread on the side and it was absolutely divine. Heavenly. Great way to use leftover mashed potatoes and it went over really well here. My munchkin also liked it a lot but well, he’s a major peanut butter-o-holic anyway, so that didn’t come as a real surprise to me.

I’ll definitely be making this again and again and again!


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    40 Comments »

    1. 1

      Kay, I absolutely love your blog. Its funny, informative and delicious! I came across your blog while I was looking to tweak the regular tuna sandwich. I’ve tried our 5 recipes from your blog since last Saturday. The yoghurt dressing with pineapple chicken pita, potato crepes, tuna deluxe and egg drop .They were all a delight to prepare and relish! I love your blog, thanks!

      Kavie on Nov 19, 2008 @ 10:48 am Reply
    2. 2

      Hi Kavie, the tuna sandwich is good, isn’t it? I absolutely love the combination of flavors like that! Really glad you like it here. Love cooking and love photography, might as well combine them and give other people some ideas while I’m at it :)

      Kay on Nov 19, 2008 @ 11:04 am Reply
    3. 3

      Hmmm…I have enough leftover baked butternut squash…I might throw “caution to the wind” and try it with that…I have everything else but the chili pepper.

      …And the bad light didn’t hold back your photos – gorgeous as always! The square bowls are beautiful.

      Ann from Montana on Nov 19, 2008 @ 1:19 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Hi Ann! I think that’s one of things that are very, very hard to come by in Holland – butternut sqash. Have yet to find it here.

      It was so dark here it looked like 7pm at 11am. I fell in love with the square white set. So incredibly simple, devoid of frills, just elegant.

      Kay on Nov 19, 2008 @ 1:24 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Hi Kay,

      I honestly don’t notice much difference in taste in any of the “fall” squash – acorn, butternut – even pumpkin baked – they all seem very similar to me. I buy a variety when they have them just because they look pretty in a bowl on the counter…then bake, top with roast beef, pork or chicken – a side of green veg …my comfort food.

      Anyway, your comments on weather sent me to Google to see what Gouda weather was like, what latitude compared to me (48 north here) and I am embarrased to say that I guess I was asleep during world geography as I had the Netherlands as well as Denmark in a slightly different location in my mind.

      I’m guessing you get weather right off the North Sea? And looks like you have snow forecast later this week as do we in northwest Montana.

      Found this in Google maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&q=Gouda,+Netherlands+latitude&fb=1&view=map&cd=1&hl=en

      It is their “panoramio” – feature. You can upload photos of a location and they are stuck to the map. Viewing, you can zoom on a photo. I will take time later and look around Gouda.

      Ann from Montana on Nov 19, 2008 @ 1:51 pm Reply
    6. 6

      The link above actually does not go to the “photo” thing. If anyone else is interested – after you get to the map, upper right corner, click on more and then photos.

      Ann from Montana on Nov 19, 2008 @ 1:53 pm Reply
    7. 7

      This soup sounds so interesting, I cannot wait to try it!

      Found your site through Pioneer Woman, and I am loving it!

      Lizzybee on Nov 19, 2008 @ 2:46 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Hi Kay, I just found your blog recently and it is so great! Your photography is absolutely gorgeous too – you are extremely talented! Looking forward to hanging with you here!
      Kaley

      Kaley on Nov 19, 2008 @ 3:18 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Hi Kaley, thanks for the compliment, are you trying to make me blush?:)

      I love the way they spelled your name, it’s so much more creative than my spelling :)

      Kay on Nov 19, 2008 @ 3:23 pm Reply
    10. 10

      Ann, yes we do. Our ‘beloved’, gray and dirty North Sea. I could have gone without snow for a couple more weeks, but apparently it’s gonna happen here as well. It’s already pretty cold now.

      Kay on Nov 19, 2008 @ 3:25 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Really love your recipes and the pics. You are now on my RSS feed so I
      know when you post a new one. Thanks you!!!
      Found you through PW

      Hilary Williams on Nov 19, 2008 @ 5:29 pm Reply
    12. 12

      Sorry misspelled my own web site! eek!

      Hilary Williams on Nov 19, 2008 @ 5:37 pm Reply
    13. 13

      I could do with this right now. I’m just recovering from a bad cold/virus thing and I think this would be wonderful.

      Karohemd on Nov 19, 2008 @ 5:58 pm Reply
    14. 14

      Hi Kay,

      I wandered over after your recipe was posted at The Pioneer Woman and I think I ruined my keyboard while drooling over your gorgeous photos. Everything looks delicious and better yet – easy to make! Your whole website is lovely and your little boy is just the cutest guy.

      Linda on Nov 19, 2008 @ 7:19 pm Reply
    15. 15

      Hey there …

      Love this idea. I’ve never done soup with peanut butter but we LOVE PB in our house so I might have to try it. It doesn’t sound hard either.

      BTW … lighting was bad … your photos STILL look awesome… ya show off ;)

      Kristy on Nov 19, 2008 @ 7:49 pm Reply
    16. 16

      I always have leftover mashed potatoes! In fact, I think there are some in my fridge right now. That’s usually where they stay until I end up dumping them. I’m definitely trying this recipe! Thank you!

      melanie on Nov 19, 2008 @ 7:51 pm Reply
    17. 17

      Looks delicious – never met a peanut dish I didn’t like ;)

      How much chicken do you use in it? I don’t think you have it listed, unless I am missing it…

      Kate Friis on Nov 19, 2008 @ 8:12 pm Reply
    18. 18

      I am over from Ree’s too – where you gave a stunning guest appearance!
      We are living in the Netherland’s for a year (from the U.S.) – and I don’t plan for snow while here, I was told we get very little in any. I am in gelderland and wishing I had a forest to walk through daily.

      Anyway, love your site – it is crisp, informational, and beautiful!
      I have not been able to find sweet potatoes here, or quinoa (been told to try the international type stores, indian) – or bicarbonate soda (which is used often, probably too often – in the U.S.) :-)

      I will be making this for the weekend – thank you!
      ek

      ek on Nov 19, 2008 @ 8:16 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Kate, I’ve cut up one chicken fillet. I think it was somewhere around 5 ounces (150gr).

      Kay on Nov 19, 2008 @ 8:20 pm Reply
    20. 20

      Hi Ek, the snowfall here isn’t too bad really, we won’t get snowed in, that’s for sure :)

      Thanks for the compliments! I just bought sweet potatoes for a recipe I’m about to do. Overhere I can buy sweet potatoes pretty much everywhere. Supermarket, ‘groenteboer’, on the market … you name it, they sell them.

      Quinoa, as far as I know, can’t be bought in the Netherlands. I always have two boxes of arm & hammer baking soda in my pantry! There are a few Dutch websites where you can order those specific American things!

      Kay on Nov 19, 2008 @ 8:24 pm Reply
    21. 21

      wow, that looks great! I love the use of ingredients, I would have NEVER thought to put PB in with potato! Yum…

      naomig on Nov 19, 2008 @ 9:31 pm Reply
    22. 22

      When I first saw this, I thought . . . peanuts in soup? Ah, peanut butter. I will have to try it just to be able to tell my teenage boys and hubby they are eating peanut butter soup!

      I have to admit, I am rediscovering cooking at the age of (ummm-never mind but I have adult children). I actually made butter for the first time last night. And it was really butter! Wow. (I used your recipe but ended up using my KitchenAid mixer to finish it up as my processor was getting really tired of whipping cream). It was so cool when it went “slosh”-just like you said. I think next time I will try honey butter for corn bread.

      I can’t help but wonder why butter is yellow when you start out with white (ok-cream colored cream LOL).

      I would love to see your collection of measuring spoons. And any cool little gadgets that aren’t really expensive but make life fun and easy in the kitchen.

      Vicky on Nov 19, 2008 @ 9:49 pm Reply
    23. 23

      Woah, this looks fantastic. I’ll be making it one day soon!

      jill on Nov 19, 2008 @ 10:59 pm Reply
    24. 24

      Vicky, you just made me grin because in my ‘Tuna Deluxe’ posting there is a photo of a few measuring spoon sets I have. I have no idea when or where this addiction of mine started, but it’s crazy.

      The butter is amazing. I’ve been doing it like this for years and it wasn’t until someone asked me to share the ‘secret’ that I thought about turning it into a posting.

      Oh a KitchenAid, I’m envious. They are so incredibly expensive in the Netherlands that I doubt I’ll ever buy one.

      Kay on Nov 19, 2008 @ 11:52 pm Reply
    25. 25

      Hi Kay,

      I have to admit, it took me quite a while to “receive” the KitchenAid mixer as a much wanted and begged for gift. I used to bake gingerbread cookies all the time, and would constantly burn out my mixers. Finally, there was a great sale, I had extra coupons and my husband was tired of replacing mixers. It has lasted YEARS and I still love it. Best kitchen appliance I have. I hope one day, you can get one too.

      Vicky on Nov 20, 2008 @ 12:08 am Reply

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