Sweet Potato-Peanut Soup

This intriguing flavor combination is inspired by African cuisine. Though many recipes call for simmering the vegetables in broth, I find that oven roasting brings out a richer, more robust flavor.


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1 carrot
5–6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large sweet potato
1 small onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2+ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
6 cups chicken broth*
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts, for topping
~ chopped cilantro leaves, for topping
*Heighten the flavor of this soup with homemade chicken stock.

Pre-heat oven to 425°

1. Cut the carrot into 1-inch chunks, toss with about one tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and place on a baking sheet.

2. Pierce the sweet potato skin with a knife in several spots to create steam vents.  Place the potato on the baking sheet with the carrots.

3. Roast the vegetables in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Remove the carrots and set aside.

4. Continue roasting the sweet potato for an additional 20 minutes, until tender.

5. Allow the sweet potato to cool, then peel it and cut the flesh into 1-inch chunks.  Set aside.

6. Cut the onion into large pieces.  Place the onion, garlic, and ginger in the food processor and process to form a paste. Drain off any excess liquid.

7. Heat 3–4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the cumin, cook for 10 seconds.  Add the onion, garlic, and ginger paste and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes.

8. Add the tomato paste, peanut butter, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Mix well.

9. Remove from the heat and spoon the mixture into the food processor. Add the sweet potato, carrot, and one cup of the chicken broth. Process until smooth.

10. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and add the remaining broth. Mix well, heat thoroughly, and ladle into bowls.

11. Top with the crushed peanuts and chopped cilantro leaves.



Preparation Time: 
80–90 minutes.