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Variation: Creamy peanut soup Like velvet, but peanutty velvet: Omit the collards or kale. Then in step 3, along with the peanut butter, stir in 1 cup heavy cream, rice milk, or coconut milk, either made from scratch or canned (use ½ can, slightly less than 1 cup, with a little water). Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pan. Or cool the mixture slightly, pour into a blender, and puree carefully. Gently reheat the soup, taste and adjust the seasoning, and garnish with the remaining peanuts.
- 3⁄4 cup shelled roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 pinch cayenne (more or less to taste)
- fresh ground black pepper
- 6 cups vegetable stock or 6 cups water
- 2 (1/2 lb) sweet potatoes or 2 yams, peeled and cut into thick slices
- 8 -12 plum tomatoes, cored and halved (canned are fine, drain and reserve liquid for another use)
- 1⁄2 lb collard greens or 1⁄2 lb kale, washed thoroughly and cut into wide ribbons
- 1⁄4 cup chunky peanut butter
- Use the flat side of a wide knife or cleaver or a small food processor to break the peanuts into large pieces.
- Put the oil in a deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 3-5 minutes.
- Add ½ cup of the peanuts and the cayenne. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in the stock and sweet potatoes, bring to a boil, and turn the heat down to medium-low so that the soup bubbles gently. Partially cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, collards and peanut butter. Cover and cook until the collards are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve garnished with the remaining peanuts.