Healthy African Peanut Stew

Bowl of African Peanut Soup

On a snowy day in March, Tim and I took a road trip to Emigrant and Gardner and on the way, we stopped at the Bozeman Community Food Coop to grab some lunch. We had a bowl of African Peanut Stew while the snow accumulated outside the coop’s cafe windows and we worried a little whether we would make it in our old Toyota. That soup hit the spot! I decided right then that I would try to invent a version we could eat on our Nutritarian diet, and I did that tonight. Yes, I used a small amount of meat (chicken,) a little olive oil and a little salt (all these are ingredients we are trying to avoid more or less) but overall I think this version is a bit healthier (for us) than other recipes for the same soup. Plus it was souper- delicious.

Since we are avoiding salt as much as possible, I added lots more ginger than most recipes call for plus 4 times as much garlic, some chili powder, lots more cumin and a little curry powder. Ups the flavor big time! How you spice up your soup is a personal decision. I like it with a little heat, and lots of flavor. I also added celery, bell pepper and chick peas, which I hadn’t seen in other African Peanut Stew recipes. You could also leave out the meat to make this a vegetarian/vegan recipe. Anyway, here’s our version:

African Peanut Soup Ingredients

Garlic Onion ginger and Chick Peas

Healthy African Peanut Stew

Serves 8 to 12 — makes a large crock pot of soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 # chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 20 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 large red yam, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper yellow or red, chopped
  • 1 26-ounce box of chopped or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable stock ***
  • 1 cup no-salt peanut butter
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 t. or more cumin
  • 1 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. red chili pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Fresh grated black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro (half of this is for garnish)

IMG_8801-impPREPARATION

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Cut the chicken into small pieces and brown in the oil with the onion and garlic.
  2. Add the ginger, celery and bell pepper and sauté a couple more minutes.
  3. Add the broth, chick peas, tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, spices and half of the cilantro and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer.** Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes (check after an hour), or until the chicken and yams are tender
  4. Season for salt and heat, then add alot of black pepper

** I started the soup on the stove, then decided to finish it for a couple of hours in our slow cooker (crock pot) this worked perfectly, since I didn’t have to stir it to keep it from scorching on the bottom.

*** Add more or less liquid depending on whether you are going for a soup or a stew. If you make a stew, it’s great on rice.

IMG_8802-impIMG_8809-impI use alot of fresh ginger in our diet. This is how I prepare it. Grating the fresh ginger takes awhile, so I first peel it (don’t worry about getting ever bit of peel off) then I use a small food processor (that came with our larger food processor) to grind it into very small pieces, almost as small as a grater would do it. It takes just a minute — literally — to process a big chunk of ginger this way.

Finely Chopped Ginger

 

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