Sunday, August 28, 2011

African Peanut Soup

African Peanut Soup - 1 Everett Sq, Allston MA

 And then it hit me. Something about this soup smelled just like something my Great Grandma from Lebanon makes. I can't quite figure out what it is that's similar.
     So tonight I needed to use the rest of the buttermilk from the pancakes yesterday. I searched for a while for some recipes and found one called "African Peanut Soup" that sounded ... peculiar. I found 2 different recipes for it and decided to combine them both/cut one in half/add other things I wanted to add. To use up some more of the buttermilk, I made buttermilk biscuits too.

African Peanut Soup

3 or 4 chicken breast halves
olive oil
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 can garbonzo beans
1 1/2 cups cubed sweet potatoes (1 lg sweet potato)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth or water
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 -3/4 tbs curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin or cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 red pepper flakes
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/4 ground black pepper
1/4 chili powder

1) Marinate 4 small chicken breasts in a bag of buttermilk, chopped fresh basil and parsley, and a little cayenne pepper for at least 2 or 3 hours. Once you're ready, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a hot skillet and add the chicken breasts. Cook until slightly browned on each side, approximately 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Once cool, shred the chicken breast into bite size pieces. Save the pan you used for the chicken. 
2) On medium heat, combine the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth (I used 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water), sweet potatoes, garbonzo beans, cumin, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, black pepper, and chili powder in a large pot. Cover and let cook for approximately 15-20 minutes. 
3) Using the same pan as the one you cooked the chicken in, add a few more tablespoons of olive oil and add the 2/4 - 2 tablespoons of curry power (I give a range, because I used 1 tablespoon but some people might not like it as hot). Cook the oil and curry for about a minute stirring continuously. Then add your onions, celery, peppers, and carrots. Cook until most most vegetables are relatively tender, stirring occasionally. 
4) Transfer the vegetables to the large pot with the broth and crushed tomatoes. Once the whole soup starts to bubble/come to a low boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for approximately 30 more minutes. A great time to make biscuits!

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter or shortening (I used half butter, half shortening because I ran out of butter)
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2) In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
3) Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. At this time either work the dough down to one inch thick and use a cookie butter to cut out the biscuits, or just take a ball of dough, place it on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten it until it's about one inch thick.
4) Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes. 

1 comment :

  1. Seeing as my favorite cooking time of the year is upon us, (soup time!) I'm gonna have to try this one. Sounds different but yummy. MOM