Friday, December 4, 2009

African Peanut Soup

After leaving the kitchen as a baker I went around the corner and started making soup. This was one that surprised me with it's popularity.

AFRICAN PEANUT SOUP (adapted from the More-With-Less Cookbook)

The MWL version is called West African Groundnut Stew and I've taken a few liberties with it. Chicken instead of beef, diced tomatoes instead of paste; adding cumin & oregano; chopped peanuts and peanut butter instead of just crunchy peanut butter. ...just a few liberties

Here's my scaled-down version, but make it as you like. Of course, it's better when made with chicken broth so you have to adjust the salt if you do.

Butter: 1 oz.
Onions, diced: about 1 1/2
Garlic, minced: about 1 T.
Diced Tomatoes: 1 28 oz. can
Water or broth: 1/2 gal.
Nutmeg: 3/4 t.
Chili Powder: 3 1/2 t.
Cumin: 1/4 t.
Oregano: 1/4 t.
Cayenne: to taste
Salt: 1 1/8 t.
Peanuts, chopped: 3/4 c.
Peanut Butter (I used smooth): 1/2 c.
Rice (I used long-grain brown): 1 c.
Cooked chicken, cubed or shredded: about 2 cups

Sauté onions and garlic in butter.
Add tomatoes, water (broth), and spices.
Bring to slow boil.
While soup is heating prepare peanuts.
Add peanuts, peanut butter, rice, chicken and cook until rice is done.
Stir occasionally to keep rice from burning on the bottom of the pot and to break up clumps of peanut butter. Reduce heat once the rice is cooked.

Marie's Scones (as requested)

I never thought I'd actually forget this recipe since I made these 5 days a week for nearly 5 years. At work at 5 am, sometimes 4:30, working alone in the quiet kitchen. Usually all of the scones were gone by 8 am so if you weren't in line when the doors opened, well, you could wait until tomorrow. Or, if it was Friday, you might have been lucky and found an orange-chocolate muffin instead.

With the understanding that all recipes are made for tinkering, here's the original (or at least my best recollection to-date):

Flour 2 c.
Sugar 1/2 c.
Baking Powder 1 T.
Salt 1 t.

Butter 4 oz. (1 stick)

Egg 1
Milk 3/4 c.
Raisins 1/4 c

Lightly grease baking sheet or use baking parchment paper.
Heat oven to 400°.

In one container, whisk egg(s) then add milk & raisins.
(for plump raisins, make this ahead and soak overnight)

In another mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Cut in butter until the mixture looks like cornmeal.

Add wet to dry and stir/fold together.
Turn out on floured surface and knead just until dough forms smooth ball.

Make a round approximately 1/2" thick, then cut into 8 pieces.
Brush pieces w/ water (or egg) and gently sprinkle w/ sugar.
Place scones on pan and bake for about 13 1/2 minutes until lightly golden.

Eat immediately. If there are any remaining a day later, reheating in a toaster oven works best.

As for the tinkering, I suggest dried cherries, apricots, or a diced apple are all good substitutes for raisins. Maybe a little cinnamon or nutmeg or cloves. Chocolate chips, chopped almonds or walnuts. Endless options, really...