If you eat soup a lot, it's good to have something unusual to pull out every once in a while. This is the new special guest on the Mannix of my cooking life.
This soup is spicy and nutty. The recipe is a mix of Ghanan groundnut and a Jamaican spicy soup. The first thing this soup says to you is "Hey howdy!" with the red pepper and cayenne and then you'll settle in for a nice long civilized conversation with the peanuts and vegetables.
I'd drink milk or beer with this soup. Milk will help keep the hot under control and as a bonus, it makes the proteins in the peanut butter more easily available to your body to absorb.
Spicy Peanut Soup
1 large onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 diced celery stalks
2 diced carrots
2 diced medium starchy potatoes
2 red Thai chile peppers - the long thin ones
5 cups vegetable stock
8 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
12 oz corn kernels, fresh, canned or frozen
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup crushed salted roasted peanuts
Smaller dices are better for this soup. 1/4" or less is ideal for all vegetables.
Remove the seeds and membranes from the hot peppers. Chop finely.
Heat the oil in a large stock pot. Sautee the onion and garlic in the oil for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the cayenne, stir and sautee 1 minute longer.
Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and chopped chili pepper. Stir and sautee four minutes more then add the stock. Bring up to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
Add the peanut butter and corn and stir until the peanut butter is dissolved. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Serve hot with crushed peanuts sprinkled on top.
The net heat from this soup is not as bad as you might think. The oil from the peanut butter helps to reduce the heat from the cayenne, red chili, and black pepper.