Tuesday, May 29, 2018

African Peanut Soup

Back in 1998, my dad and I sojourned in Africa for about a month. We traveled all over Zimbabwe on photo safari. We brought along a close family friend (almost an uncle, if you will) and along with one other couple and a woman from India, the trip was absolutely magical.

I learned an awful lot in Africa – like I cannot control ANYTHING in life and that I have no choice but to accept it.
So many things went “wrong” on that trip. SO many things.
With my personality, I could have been crippled – paralyzed – in fear. But, the biggest lesson I learned was that when you have no choice but NOT to fear, that’s what you do.
The tales and stories of our trip and all the memories I could use to construct my next book (yes, I have published a book, two in fact). But for now, I’ll stick with the sweet memory of the description of our tour guide Sofie’s traditional African Peanut Soup. While I did not have the honor of her special sweet potato and peanut butter soup preparation while camping alongside her and all the African wildlife for three weeks, I did get to cherish her smile and her recipe.
Sweet potatoes, peanut butter, tomatoes, and Sofie. This all makes my heart sing.
As do Valerie and Pete.
When Val told me she was making the Moosewood Cookbook’s African Peanut Soup with Pete, I had to take part.
Although from a distance…we did it together.
These two are my smiling angels.
When I lose my wings, they help me find them.
I am so very blessed in SO many ways.
Thank you, you two, for the blessing of YOU!
African Peanut Soup
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
sea salt
14 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup broth (optional)
fresh basil
In a large pot, heat the oil to medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the carrots and the sweet potato, along with the ginger and salt, and saute until the sweet potatoes become tender. Add the crushed tomatoes and reduce to a simmer, for about 10 minutes.
Transfer most of the mixture to a high speed blender, along with the peanut butter, and puree until smooth. Add additional broth if you prefer a thinner soup.
Return the puree to the pot with the remaining veggies and stir until well combined.
Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
**Feel free to add a touch of red chili flake to the blender to spice up the soup!

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