West African Peanut Soup

So, there’s a bit of back story to today’s recipe:

Last sunday was a PERFECTLY beautiful sunny day (albeit a bloody chilly and windy one,) so Jenn and I decided to have a rip on the bikes out to Wycliff Park in North Vancouver. It’s a really great route, one of my favourite roads to ride (it’s a very hilly/rolling ride segment,) and we were joined by a few other teammates (thanks Tamasin, Sarah and Andrea for the fun!) In my typical weekend fashion, I made Jenn and I some gluten free pancakes (that I’ll have to post the recipe up to, they’re apparently SOMEBODY’S new favourite breakfast,) so was incredibly fuelled for the ride. Not taking much food in during the 2.5hr ride, I started to get my bonk on in the last 3 minutes of the ride (good timing eh?)

Finishing our ride at my new favourite gluten free bakery and cafe, Panne Rizo (in Kits,) I was ready to get some calories in. Little did I know, that I was about to walk into GF PARADISE; Panne Rizo was celebrating their 15 year anniversary, as well as winning the “Best GF Bakery 2013” award. AND, they were celebrating in my kind of fashion. With samples.

Lots.

And lots.

Of samples.

Legit. Lots of SAMPLES!

After eating my weight in samples, I was eyeballing a soup on the menu I’ve never even heard of, yet had my favourite ingredient in it: West African Peanut Soup. After digging in, I immediately decided two things:
A. I had to make this soup myself;
B. I could do it better.

I set about researching soup recipes, and found plenty. I decided to take the concept, and put my own spin on it. I hope you like this recipe, I know I do! Jenn takes props for making it before I did, and did a damn fine job. We both used a slow cooker the first time around, but today I made it at the firehall in a standard pot setup; it got two thumbs up from the whole crew, and we took down enough to feed an army! Enjoy!

ps. this looks like a lot of ingredients, but really it’s not! You probably have a lot of this at home, and it’s all easily accessible (and cheap) at the grocery store.

The goodness that goes in (**NOTE** I actually used vegetable broth in my recipe!)
**ALLERGY ALERT** Contains Peanuts: you CAN use almond butter in place of peanut butter!!

West African Peanut Soup (VEGAN)

Ingredients:
– 6 cups vegetable broth (I went natural organic with low sodium)
– 1 medium red onion, chopped fine
– 2 big thumb sized pieces ginger, peeled and either chopped fine or grated
– 6 big cloves garlic, chopped fine or crushed (+/- a few cloves, depending on your taste for garlic!)
– 2 Tbsp curry powder
– 3 carrots, chopped
– 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small bits
– 2-3 medium red peppers, chopped fine
– 1 bunch collard greens or kale, your preference (or both!!) chopped into bits
– 2-3 tomatoes, chopped up
– couple solid squirts Sriracha Hot Sauce (Red Rooster Brand, green lid)
– 1 small can plain tomato paste
– 1 large can crushed tomatoes
– big handful chopped cilantro
– 1 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter (I chose chunky, probably a heaping cup) **ALLERGY** use almond butter if you’re allergic to peanuts!!!
– fresh ground pepper to taste
– handful of chopped peanuts
– zest and juice of two limes
Get Chopping!
Methods of Creation:

A. Crock Pot Style (aka time crunched cooking):
– while you’re preparing the veggies and such, heat up 1 cup of the broth in a pot until hot;
– once it’s hot, add your peanut butter (or almond butter,) and tomato paste, mixing it up together.
– throw EVERYTHING into your crock pot;
– cook on low for 8-12 hrs, high for 4-5hrs.
– If you like a smoother soup, use an immersion blender to blend it up a little, or a lot (or not at all; it’s GREAT with all the chunks!)
– serve over quinoa, brown rice, or on it’s own as a soup, topped with some cilantro and chopped peanuts.
Serve it up!!
B. Stove Top (total time takes 1 hour or less, depending on simmer time):
– heat some oil (coconut, grape seed, canola, etc) in a BIG pot;
– add the onion, fry it up for a few minutes until turning translucent;
– add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder, frying for 2-3 minutes;
– stir in everything else except the chopped peanuts and lime juice; bring to a boil;
– stirring it up, turn the heat down to a medium-low simmer;
– let it simmer away, partially covered, for another 20-40 minutes;
– add lime juice, season with fresh ground pepper until it’s to your taste satisfaction (and add more Sriracha if you want a bit more heat);
– use an immersion blender to blend it a little, a lot, or leave it as is (depending how you like your soup!)
– top with some extra chopped peanuts and cilantro, serve it solo, or on quinoa, brown rice, etc.
A pot of guaranteed smiles 🙂
Hope you all enjoy this recipe! I PROMISE you will love it, it’s got some serious flavour and freezes well. Served over quinoa gives you a good hit of protein. We had it with egg sandwiches today.
Happy training everyone 🙂
Nathan

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