09 Jul Sierra Leonean Groundnut Soup
Groundnut soup is a creamy peanut butter based stew that is typically served over rice in Sierra Leone. If you are new to West African cooking, the word ‘soup’ typically describes any sauce that can be served alongside rice, foo-foo or a root vegetable, to make up a main meal. So, we tend to refer to pretty much everything as a soup, including soup as we know it in the western context.
The great thing about this dish is that it is versatile. It can be made with a vast array of vegetables that you are familiar with and is easily adaptable to suite your taste and dietary preference. I have seen many variations of peanut stew but what I love about this soup is its authenticity. A lot of the time, what differentiates African recipes from others is the use of minimal ingredients to produce a tasty and filling dish and groundnut soup is a classic example. Some peanut butter, a bit of tomato and a good stock or seasoning is all you need to create this nutritious meal.
I have made here a slight variation of the basic Sierra Leone recipe but feel free to jazz it up or substitute additional vegetables and meat/fish as you like. Choose from prawns, chicken, fish or beef and for vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes or courgettes all work well in this recipe. So if you are a vegan or vegetarian, you have plenty choice. I hope you like it.
- 2tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large spring onion (or ½onion), chopped
- ½ red chilli
- ½ sweet red pepper (optional)
- 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1 inch ginger, finely minced or grated
- 3 tbsp. peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1-2 springs fresh thyme
- 1 to 1 ¼ cup (250 to 310 ml) vegetable stock
- Carrots, roughly chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Sauté the spring onion, chilli and sweet pepper over medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and ginger and continue to cook for a further 7 minutes.
- Add the peanut butter, tomato paste and thyme.
- Add the vegetable stock, stir and allow to simmer, covered for 7-10 minutes.
- Add the carrots and season with salt to taste. Simmer on low heat for another 7 minutes until the carrots have softened.
- Serve over brown rice or with boiled cassava and a steamed green vegetable such as kale or green beans.
Total cooking time: 30 minutes
Main ingredients: Peanut butter, vegetable stock