10.12.2018
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26.02.2018

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4-6

An unusual but absolutely delicious combination of flavours, in a wonderfully fragrant and tasty soup. Chicken, sweet potato, peanut butter, tomato, ginger and beet greens are the main stars of this very special dish. If you’ve never tried it, you really have to!

West African Inspired Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup with Peanut Butter www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: An ingredient shot with various items on a dark wooden surface. In the top left corner an African bowl with pretty patterns around it. Clockwise from there are a stack of bowls and a piece of material, a couple of sweet potatoes - one of them sliced, a red pepper and some spoons half visible, a dark tea towel, a knife, some beet greens, a small bowl of salt, a linen napkin and a bamboo bowl with peanuts on that.

I had a good feeling about this soup right from the very beginning. I don’t know why, I mean the thought of peanut butter being paired with tomato and ginger wasn’t entirely appealing. But the general feel of the whole thing just seemed like it might be something I would like. Boy was I right to trust my instinct.

West African Inspired Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup with Peanut Butter www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a close up of one of the bowls of soup. Showing through the top of the soup are some pieces of sweet potato. The soup is decorated with chopped peanuts and a small beetroot leaf.

West African Inspired Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup with Peanut Butter www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a close up, side view of the beetroot greens, arranged like a bouquet in the african bowl. Behind the leaves barely visible is a red pepper.

This is amazing. It’s creamy, delicious, fragrant, slightly spicy, slightly sweet… Just amazing. I am in love.

West African Inspired Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup with Peanut Butter www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A side view of the three bowls of soup extending down the legth of the wooden surface. To the left, the bamboo bowl of peanuts and the african bowl with the beet greens.

I based the recipe on several others I found while researching the West African version of peanut soup or peanut stew. It seems most of them have sweet potato (which I love, so I was happy with that) and some type of meat. I thought chicken would go nicely, and it sure did. But you know what, I think it would be just as nice without meat, with the addition of legumes, maybe chickpeas or kidney beans or cranberry beans. So you can easily make this a vegan dish!

West African Inspired Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup with Peanut Butter www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Ingredient shot of two sweet potatoes, one of them sliced. To the right the red pepper and to the bottom of the photo (half visible) are the beet greens laying on the wooden surface. To the left the bowl of peanuts.

West African Inspired Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup with Peanut Butter www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: a close up of one of the bowl of soup. To it’s left a linen napkin, a tiny bowl of salt and a half visible bowl of peanuts. To it’s right a dark tea towel laying on a piece of burlap. On top of the teatowel are some spoons.

Right, I’ll get on with the actual recipe while it’s still winter around these parts! Spring is fast approaching and I haven’t had my fill of cozy comforting recipes!

West African Inspired Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup with Peanut Butter www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A close up of one of the bowls of soup. In the dark background the two other bowls and a black tea towel barely visible.

Ingredients

2 + 2 Tbs olive oil

2 chicken legs, whole (about 750-800gr)

1 litre water

1 medium onion (about 100gr after peeling), chopped

1 red bell pepper (about 170gr after prep), chopped

2 sweet potatoes, large (about 700gr peeled), cut into medium cubes

400gr tinned chopped tomatoes

100gr beet greens, the young leaves, roughly chopped

1 Tbs brown sugar

2 tsp ginger, powdered

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

120ml (1/2 cup) peanut butter, smooth

a few roughly chopped peanuts to garnish (optional)

Step 1

Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a large saucepan and brown the chicken legs. Carefully add the water and when it boils turn the heat to medium, half cover the pan and cook the chicken for about 40 minutes or until done in the thickest part of the leg.

Step 2

Take the saucepan off the heat, take the chicken out and let it cool on a plate, while setting aside the broth.

Step 3

In another large saucepan heat the remaining 2 Tbs olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add the red pepper and continue for 3 minutes. Add the sweet potato and cook for a further 5 minutes to soften, stirring often.

Step 4

Pour the broth into the pan with the sautéed vegetables, turn the heat up and add the tomatoes and beet greens. When it comes to the boil add the sugar, ginger, paprika, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Turn the heat down and let the soup simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Step 5

Meanwhile remove the chicken meat from the bones.

Step 6

Add the peanut butter and chicken to the soup, stir well to incorporate, and let it cook for another 10 minutes so the flavours can merge.

Step 7

Serve with a garnish of roughly chopped peanuts if you like a crunchy texture to your soup!

Tips

- You can easily make a vegan version by replacing the chicken broth with vegetable stock. Add some chickpeas or other legumes for extra nourishment.

- I prefer free range chicken so it’s hard (and expensive) here to find fillets. If you can find them, use filleted chicken legs (without bones and skin) and ready-made chicken stock. It’s easier and quicker. Just brown the chicken, remove from the pan, continue with the vegetables in the same pan. Add the ready-made stock instead of the broth and then pop the chicken in along with the tomatoes.

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