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West African Peanut Soup

Adapted from Common Threads Cookbook

4-6 servings

1 c chopped onions
½ tbs peanut or vegetable oil
¼ tsp cayenne pepper or other ground dried chiles (amount is to taste)
½ tsp grated or minced peeled fresh ginger root
1 cup finely diced sweet potatoes
2 cups vegetable broth or water
½ cup tomato juice
½ cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup chopped scallions
salt and pepper – a dash each

Cut the onions, peel and mince the ginger, peel and chop the carrots, and dice the sweet potatoes.

Saute the onions in the oil in a medium pot until they start to look clear. Stir in the cayenne and fresh ginger. Add the carrots and saute for 2-3 more minutes. Add the potatoes and broth, bring the soup to a boil, and then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

When the vegetables are tender, take the pot off the heat and let it cool slightly. Then, pour the soup slowly into a blender or food processor. Puree the soup so the vegetables are smooth. If you have an immersion blender, you may want to use it instead.

Add the peanut butter and blend again, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed to make sure everything is mixed well. Taste the soup. Its sweetness will depend upon the sweetness of the carrots and sweet potatoes. Add the salt and pepper. Serve and top with scallions.