Ebenezer's All-Powerful Peanut Soup
As Ebenezer Akakpo, from Ada, Ghana, taught Lindsay Sterling in Yarmouth, ME, April 2011. Photos by Stacey Cramp.
Active time: 2.5 hours
Note: This soup stores wonderfully in the freezer. Great to have on hand. Natives eat this soup with fou fou. It would also be good with instant polenta or bread.
- 5 habanero peppers
- 31 peeled garlic cloves (about 2 1/2 heads!)
- 1 red onion, cut into big wedges
- handful fresh basil leaves
- 4 inches peeled ginger root, cut into chunks
- 9 beef bouillion cubes (he used Maggi brand, common in Africa)
- any smoked product (he used pork hocks, but said he'd also use fish)
- 2 lb chicken pieces, bone-in
- 3 tomatoes
- 1/4 c tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 yellow onion, cut into wedges
- 1 pack mushrooms, cut in half
1. Throw peppers, garlic, onion, basil, and ginger into a blender and fill the blender a couple inches from the top with water. Blend. Strain liquid puree into a large soup pot. Put strained mash back into blender, refill with water, blend and strain into soup pot again. Do this one more time so you have a big soup pot 3/4 full with flavored, strained water. You can squeeze out the strained mash for every drip of flavor goodness with your hands. Don't bother washing the blender, you'll use it again for the soup later.
2. Add bouillon, smoked pork or fish, and chicken.
3. Mark an x in the bottom of the three tomatoes, cover with water in a small pot, and boil for a couple minutes until the skins loosen. Remove from water, peel off skins, blend in the blender, and add to soup pot along with tomato paste.
4. Now blend in the blender: peanut butter, yellow onion, and water to fill the blender half-way. Pour mixture into a small pot on medium. Cook stirring for about 20 minutes until a spoon swiped on the bottom leaves a trail in the bottom of the pot and if you look closely the oils begin to separate. Add the peanut mixture the soup, along with mushrooms.
5. When mushrooms (and chicken of course!) are cooked, soup's done!