Meatless Monday - West African Peanut Soup (and other great nut butter uses)

>> Monday, March 1, 2010

Today's Meatless Monday post is all about nut butters.  Why?  Well, I have a few recipes that use nut butters that I want to share with you, and I have a nut butter giveaway going on at my other blog!  Jump over to A Life Less Sweet Reviews for a chance to  be one of 4 winners of a $5 coupon toward any MaraNatha Nut Butter product!  

West African Peanut Soup
Sometime in the last couple of months, I saw a couple of African soup recipes with peanut butter in them.  I don't know why, but the idea really resonated with me, and I just had to make a soup with peanut butter in it.  My husband thought that I was slightly crazy (what else is new?), but he's also always game to try something different.

Google West African Peanut Soup, and you'll get tons of different recipes.  The common denominator in these soup recipes tends to be sweet potatoes, peanut butter, and tomatoes (either in juice or whole form).  Some are quite simple with few spices, and some are very complex.  I pulled what appealed to me from several different recipes to make my soup.

I like this soup a lot.  I loved the complex taste that all of the different spices added to the soup.  The peanut butter helped to thicken the soup and also added to the complexity of the flavor without being an overpowering flavor.

I liked it, but what about everyone else?  Do I even need to mention the kids?  I knew going into this that they weren't going to like this soup, so I made them a pizza instead.  They did dutifully try the soup, and they dutifully told me that they didn't like it.  Surprisingly, my husband was only so-so on this soup.  He did like it, but not as much as I thought he would.  We both thought that all of the spices gave it a very Indian flavor.  (Is that typical of West African food?  Or did I gravitate toward the soup recipes with lots of spices because I like Indian food?)  He said that he would like the soup better served over rice and with a little chicken or sauteed tofu in it.  I'll give those ideas a try next time around.

(Soup recipe at the bottom of the post!)

Almond Butter Snacks
My son's school went peanut free last year.  Because of that, we've started using almond butter a lot.  Anything we might want to make with peanut butter to take to school, I just substitute almond butter, and because both nuts are packed with protein and good fats, I feel good sending him with some almond butter snacks.

One of my favorite almond butter snacks couldn't be easier.  Take two crackers of your choice, spread a smear of almond butter on one and a smear of Nutella (a chocolate-hazelnut spread) on the other, and put them together.  Voila!  A very tasty and easy snack for his lunch box that can double as a dessert!  This is good using regular crackers or you can play up the dessert aspect and use graham crackers.

My other favorite almond butter snack comes compliments of Fix Me A Snack - Almond Butter Balls.  These little balls are filled with good stuff and absolutely addictive.  I make a double batches of Almond Butter Balls at a time and freeze them.  I pull them out as a high-protein morning snack and have even been known to serve a couple along with breakfast.  Seriously, give these a try.  SO good!

Last, a simple breakfast using whatever nut butter tickles your fancy.  I'm not a big breakfast fan.  If it isn't quick and easy, then I'll probably just go without.  Not the best eating strategy, but there you go.  One of my quick and easy breakfasts is simply to quarter a banana, top with a smear of peanut or almond butter, a smattering of raisins, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Simple.  Fast.  Delicious.  And nothing but good stuff with some protein to boot. 

On to the soup recipe, as promised...

West African Peanut Soup
2 cups chopped onions
1 tsp grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped carrot
2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can coconut milk
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP sugar (optional)
1 cup peanut butter
chopped green onions and chopped cilantro for garnish

  • Saute the onion in oil until translucent.
  • Add the carrots, ginger, and garlic.  Stir in the spices (cloves through cinnamon).  Saute a couple of more minutes.
  • Mix in the sweet potatoes, broth, tomatoes, coconut milk, sugar, and bay leaves.  Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 15 min or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Leave chunky if preferred or use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the vegetables as much as desired.
  • Return soup to pot.  Stir in the peanut butter until smooth.
  • Serve topped with chopped green onions and cilantro.

Can't get enough of nut butters?  Jump to A Life Less Sweet Reviews to read why we switched to natural peanut butter and to enter to win a MaraNatha coupon worth $5!


Sagan March 1, 2010 at 9:29 AM  

I LOVE nut butter but cannot bring myself to enjoy peanut soup. Or peanut sauces. Strange.

I think I eat about 1/4 cup nut butter every day. Heh.

Cindy Rowland March 1, 2010 at 1:03 PM  

I'm totally into this soup! Looks delicious!

Zibi March 1, 2010 at 7:17 PM  

Very interesting soup. I never thought of peanut butter in soup before but it looks great. Reading through the recipe I can almost taste it...I better make some tomorrow night!

'Drea March 1, 2010 at 9:07 PM  

I absolutely love this version called Senegalese Peanut Stew.

It's so freakin' good.

cathy March 2, 2010 at 6:13 AM  

Zibi - Love your site! Personally, I can't wait to try your Mulligatawny Stew!

Drea - Thanks for the link! That recipe looks similar to mine, minus the cumin and turmeric. I might have to give this twist a try too.

Amy (Super Healthy Kids) March 5, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

I'm funny with peanut butter. I love it plain, on a spoon, I love peanut butter cookies, but I have never liked peanut butter on bread. In fact I don't think I've ever had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich... ever. But I make them for my kids all the time.

Cascia March 5, 2010 at 1:16 PM  

Peanut Butter is great on almost anything. I always make sure I get the 100% natural peanut butter. Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes!

Have a great weekend!

天氣報導 March 5, 2010 at 8:18 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark March 7, 2010 at 10:06 AM  

A big fan myself...thanks for the recipe!

Lori March 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM  

Oh, I'm bookmarking this soup! It sounds so great! I am a peanut fan in so many savory dishes. I love nut butters as well. A small scoop is a common snack around here.

Cialis Online June 23, 2011 at 2:28 AM  

That dishes look so delicious. I never had peanut soup I really want to try it out. I once had duck with peanut butter sauce. Delicious as well.

His Needs Her Needs September 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM  

Very wonderful ideas. I'll love to try them out.

viagra online February 15, 2012 at 8:43 AM  

This peanut soup is the most incredible stuff I've ever seen in my whole life!

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