West African Peanut Soup
Peanut Butter is life. Well, it is to me. If you've followed me on Instagram for more than a week, you'll know that peanut butter rocks my world. It's the small things, you see.
There are a couple of things that matter in my world - that peanut butter be crunchy and that it contain no other ingredient. Providing those things to be true, I can find joy in any and every day. As long as there's always a jar and a teaspoon at bay.
Just recently I took possession of a most wonderful recipe book called..wait for it.. Peanut Butter. Peanut Butter is the creative genius of Tim Lannan and James Annabel from Byron Bay Peanut Butter (find them on insta here), and contains every conceivable recipe you can imagine (or never possibly imagine), with peanut butter. There's peanut butter granola, brittle, cocktails, banana bread, oats, lamingtons, cheesecake (say what?!) and soup! There's even a peanut butter for dogs section!
Sounds delish, huh? Well.. you need to read on.
I've been given permission to share a most scrumptious peanut butter soup (I know this to be true because I made it on the weekend and have eaten leftovers every day since). This is a simple version of the peanut soup or mafé that appears in various forms across West African countries such as Senegal, Gambia and Mali.
It’s a comforting and cosy winter lunch or dinner, great on it's own or over a bowl of steaming hot brown rice. Some of you may find the method a little different to what you're used to - there's no frying of onion and spice upfront. But trust me, it works.
Oh and a note from me? If you like chilli I'd add some fresh chilli with the onion and garlic, or make sure there's a lovely chilli sauce to dribble on at serving.
1.5 litres (51 fl oz/6 cups) vegetable broth
1 large red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
200 g (7 oz) protein food (e.g. firm tofu, seitan, meat, cubed; optional)
125 g (3½ oz/½ cup) tomato paste (concentrated purée)
185 g (6½ oz/¾ cup) peanut butter
100 g (3½ oz/2 cups) finely chopped kale leaves, plus extra to garnish
chopped peanuts and hot sauce, to garnish
Steamed brown rice, to serve (optional)
Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan over a medium–high heat.
Add the onion, ginger, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper and protein food, if using.
Reduce the heat to medium–low and cook for 20 minutes. Add the tomato paste and simmer for 5–10 minutes. Add the peanut butter, increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil. Add the kale, then reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. (I simmered with the lid off and left it on the heat for a bit longer to thicken it up).
Garnish with extra kale, chopped peanuts and hot sauce, and serve with rice if you wish.
This is an edited extract from Peanut Butter by Tim Lannan and James Annabel published by Hardie Grant Books $22.99 and is available where all good books are sold. Photographer: © Kate Berry 2020