This quick and easy West African Peanut and Chicken Soup is a unique blend of flavors that creates the ultimate comfort food with little effort!
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Winter is in full swing and I am fully in the mood for warm, cozy meals. This is the time of year when I most relish casseroles, pastas, pot pies, chilis, and soups. I stumbled across this recipe for West African peanut and chicken soup a couple of weeks ago and was completely intrigued. I had never heard of peanut soup, but I was curious about the combination of flavors: cayenne pepper, ginger, and peanut.
When I realized this recipe was from the incomparable Mark Bittman, I immediately decided to try it. I own and love Mark’s cookbook “How to Cook Everything,” which is a comprehensive bible for the kitchen and one that should be in every cook’s library. Honestly, every recipe I have ever used from that book has been a winner. And I am happy to report that this West African peanut and chicken soup is a deliciously simple comfort food at its finest.
I made a few small tweaks based on what I had on hand, but I was pleasantly surprised by the pairings of flavors in this soup. The onions and garlic provide an aromatic base for the soup, then the addition of ginger and cayenne give a touch of warmth without making it spicy.
The peanuts (or cashews, if you prefer) provide a bit of interesting texture and the peanut butter lends a bit of creaminess and depth of flavor to the soup.
Add in some sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, and kale for a nutrient-packed soup with tons of flavor. Chicken provides some protein, further bulking up the soup. When I first taste-tested it, I ended up eating two bowls full of soup. 🙂
Side note: Isn’t that China bowl pretty? I have a handful of these dishes from my grandma and I love them!
To make this recipe even faster, I used my Instant Pot to cook a frozen boneless chicken breast, then shredded the meat and added it to the soup. It worked perfectly and saved a lot of time!
You can add salt to taste, and I even tried adding a couple of shakes of soy sauce to the soup, which complemented the ginger and peanut flavors well.
Because this recipe is so quick and easy, it would make a great weeknight meal to add to your weekly menu plan. The flavor combination may not be what you typically find in most soup recipes, but I can assure you the medley of ingredients create a delicious meal. Give it a try and serve it with some warm crusty bread!
What is one of your favorite soup recipes to make this time of year? Let me know in the comments below!
Quick and Easy West African Peanut and Chicken Soup
This delicious West African peanut and chicken soup is a quick and easy, flavorful and filling soup!
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
- 1 Tbs minced garlic
- 2 cups of diced or shredded cooked chicken
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt and black pepper
- 1/2 cup of peanuts (or cashews, if preferred), roughly chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
- 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of peanut butter (chunky or smooth is fine)
- 2 cups of kale, chiffonade (sliced into thin ribbons)
- Add oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to become translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Add chicken and peanuts and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the chicken broth and peanuts (or cashews), as well as the sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Simmer covered until sweet potatoes are tender, about ten minutes.
- Add peanut butter, stirring until melted and combined.
- Stir in kale and allow a few minutes for the greens to wilt.
- If needed, add more salt to taste.
Adapted from The New York Times Cooking
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 1311mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 23g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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