Many West African countries have peanut soup recipes in their traditional cuisines. They call the peanut a “groundnut” because it is a “nut” that grows in the ground. This Ghanaian Chicken Groundnut Soup recipe is a national favorite in my wife’s native country of Ghana. And trust me, it is delicious and comforting.
(Photo Attributed to Author: Londonsista)
Ghanaian Chicken Groundnut Soup Recipe-
- 3-4 lbs. of chicken pieces (free-range or roasting are best)
- 2 onions (enough for 2 cups, chopped)
- (NOTE: a few garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or pressed, and a teaspoon or 2 of fresh grated ginger, a sprinkling of salt or seasoned salt and ground red pepper are almost always optional seasonings for soups and stews)
- 3-6 cups of water (depending on whether you want soup or stew)
- 2 Maggi seasoning cubes, crushed (an essential, must have ingredient for authentic Ghanaian flavor)
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- ½ to 1 cup of creamy natural style peanut butter (no sugar added)
- 1 8-oz can tomato sauce (or substitute fresh ground, seeded tomatoes, or pureed canned tomatoes)
- a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, or to taste
- ground red pepper to taste (at least 1/8 teaspoon), or fresh hot chili pepper
- okra, optional (about 8 fresh or about 5 oz. of frozen or canned okra, tailed and left whole or chopped), can be cooked and served alongside as a condiment or stirred into the soup while it is simmering after the peanut butter mixture has been added.
- Remove skin and fat from chicken and put pieces into a heavy pot with a cup of the water. Peel and chop one of the onions and add them to the pot along with any additional seasonings (like a little salt, garlic, ginger, red pepper, etc.) and steam the chicken in a covered pot for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Add the tomato sauce and paste, the rest of the chopped onion, the red pepper, and the remaining water (start with 4 cups for the soup). Bring the soup to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer.
- In a medium saucepan, ladle about 2 cups of the soup broth into the pan, and mix it with the peanut butter. Heat the broth and peanut butter mixture on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the oil separates from the nuts and rises to the surface. This may take 15 or 20 minutes. NOTE: you can simply stir the peanut butter/broth mixture directly into the soup, but I’m describing how I was taught, and how I do it. Cooking it separately somehow flavors the peanut sauce more, like browning would). Keep stirring or the peanut butter will scorch, and add a little more soup broth to it if necessary.
- Ladle some of the soup into the sauce, stir it, and stir the mixture into the soup, taking care not to splatter yourself.
- Add the okra, if cooking in the soup. Also add in the crushed Maggi cubes at this point, and stir well to combine. Allow the soup to simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the flavors blend and the chicken and okra are cooked. Add more water if you prefer a thinner soup. Check the seasonings and add more salt, red pepper, etc., to taste.
- As with most traditional meals from this West African country, you should serve your Ghanaian Chicken Groundnut Soup with a side helping of Fufu, Banku, or Kenkey.
Note: This recipe is just one of hundreds, taken from our African Cuisine pages!
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