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West African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recipe adopted from The New Best Recipe.  [Recipe makes 4 to 6 servings].

It's not all that often that I make soup for a main course (or order it off of a menu for that matter), but after recently browsing through the latest soup magazine from Cook's Illustrated (along with the fact that I desperately want fall to come sooner than later), I picked a recipe that interested me and went for it.  All I can say is that Christopher Kimball's test cooks pulled through once again.  This West African flavored recipe results in a sophisticated taste, despite the fact that it comes together in no time.  You immediately get the 'Thanksgiving-comfort-food' aroma and taste from the sweet potatoes, followed by just the amount of creaminess from the peanut butter, and end with an interesting warm and peppery combination from the cayenne and fresh cilantro.  I'll definitely be making this soup again when the weather gets a little cooler.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 white onion, diced
1 teaspoon light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and pepper to taste

3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced 3/4" thick
3 tablespoons peanut butter
(up to) 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and pepper, to taste

Peanuts, chopped (optional)
Fresh cilantro


Heat a large heavy pot (Dutch oven preferred) over medium to medium-high heat.  Melt the butter and add the onion, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Stir occasionally, and let cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is softened.  Stir in the garlic, coriander, and cayenne, until fragrant.  Lastly, add the chicken broth, water, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer while partially covered until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked (and pass the fork test).

Depending on what equipment you have on hand, use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender to achieve a smooth and uniform consistency.  If needed, add any additional seasonings to taste.  Garnish with peanuts and cilantro.

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  1. I have to make this recipe.. love sweet potato soup and I am curious to know what the addition of peanut butter tastes like!

    1. I hope you like it; it mellows it out without being too overpowering. I've been scrolling through your recipes and am having the hardest time deciding what I want to make first. Everything looks awesome!