There’s been a lot of celebrating going on at The Café lately, with birthdays, reunions and all sorts of Christmas festivities. Oh, and of course, lots of indulgent treats to go along with the parties. A few days ago, I began to realize that my sweet tank* was quite full – in fact it was full to the brim! I was craving something healthy, flavorful and fun. Something unique and delicious that I could serve to guests, yet at the same time, use for quick, easy meals during this busy pre-Christmas week.
African Peanut Soup? Yes, and you’ll never guess where I found the inspiration for this delightful recipe. I was thumbing through the Costco store monthly magazine and paused to read an article about their rotisserie chicken. We love their wonderful golden brown, perfectly cooked chicken and pick one up quite frequently to use for sandwiches, salads, soups, etc. After using all the meat, I throw the carcasses in the freezer and, on a day when I’m hanging out at home, I throw a few of them into a pot with some veggies and let it simmer away, slowly transforming into a rich, fabulous chicken stock.
This particular article had letters from happy customers sharing their favorite ways of using the Costco rotisserie chicken. There was a pasta recipe, a chicken dip, a sandwich and several others, but the one that really caught my eye was one called Easy African Peanut Soup. Peanut soup? It sounded a bit strange, but as I read the list of ingredients, I was quite intrigued. I did a bit of research on African Peanut Soup and, while I didn’t end up using the Costco recipe, it was definitely where I got my inspiration.
I know, I know, I really do know; you’re thinking this combination of ingredients sounds quite strange. You’re right, I thought the same thing! But PLEASE, try this! It is amazing; my husband and son-in-law were the first ones to try it and they both said, “WOW!” with the first bite. If you’re looking for a delicious, fun, very flavorful entree, sure to bring rave reviews – this is IT!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion roughly chopped
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 " piece ginger peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground or crushed coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups peeled and roughly chopped carrots
- 16 ounce can peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro packed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
- 1½ teaspoons salt more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 2 cups shredded roasted chicken breast rotisserie chicken is great
- cooked jasmine rice for topping (I use 1/2 cup per serving)
- finely chopped bell pepper any color, for topping
- finely chopped fresh cilantro for topping
- roughly chopped salted peanuts for topping
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large stockpot or dutch oven. Add onions and pepper and sauté until soft and translucent. Add garlic, ginger and spices and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cilantro, brown sugar, Sriacha, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes until all veggies are super tender.
- Add coconut milk and peanut butter and puree with a stick blender or a regular blender. If using a regular blender, be sure to allow mixture to cool a bit before pureeing.
- Add roasted chicken and cook for another minute or two until chicken is heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a scoop of rice and a sprinkle of the chopped bell pepper, cilantro and peanuts.