This West African Peanut Soup recipe is taken from our African Cuisine/Ghanaian Cuisine page. West African Peanut Soup (more often called “Groundnut Soup” by native Africans) can be made with almost any kind of meat, or seafood. This recipe calls for salmon, which is a popular choice in Ghana. Ghanaians also will use goat, lamb, and chicken, and sometimes will combine meat with seafood, most often tilapia, salmon or red fish.
West African Peanut Soup Recipe-
- 3 lbs. of fresh salmon (get wild caught, Alaskan or Atlantic Salmon if you can)
- 2 onions (enough for 2 cups, chopped)
- 4 to 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger root (or more, to taste)
- salt, to taste
- ground red pepper, to taste
- 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.
- Chop the salmon into large bite-sized chunks and put them into a heavy pot with a cup of the water. Peel and chop one of the onions and add them into the pot along with some seasonings: salt, garlic, ginger, red pepper, to taste. Steam the salmon in a covered pot for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the soup.
- When the fish is tender, remove it from the pot and set aside for now. Add and stir the tomato sauce and paste into the pot, the rest of the chopped onion, the red pepper, and about 4 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a vigorous, rolling boil, and then reduce the heat to just a lively simmer.
- Ladle about 2 cups of the simmering soup broth into a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add and stir in the peanut butter. Cook the peanut butter/broth mixture, stirring constantly, until the oil separates from the nuts and rises to the surface – expect to cook and stir for 15 to 20 minutes. You must stir continuously, or else the peanut butter will scorch. If necessary, add a little more broth as you cook and stir.
- Ladle some more of the soup broth into the sauce, stir it, and then add and stir the peanut mixture into the main soup pot.
- If you are adding okra, put it into the pot at this time. Also add in the crushed Maggi cubes, and stir well to combine.
- Adjust the heat to a lively simmer, and allow the soup to cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the flavors blend and the okra is well tenderized and cooked through. After 10 – 12 minutes of simmering, add the steamed fish back into the pot. Decide if you want a thicker, stew-like consistency (which you will most likely have by now) or a thinner soup. Add more water if you prefer a thinner soup.
- Do a taste test and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- When West African Peanut Soup is prepared as a stew (thicker) it can be served over rice like a curry sauce. You can also garnish each serving with some chopped peanuts. As a soup, or even as a thicker stew, West African Peanut Soup is most often (especially in Ghana) served with a ball of banku, fufu, or kenkye. The image above shows a peanut stew with a ball of banku. You eat the soup or stew with your hands, using the ball of staple as an “edible utensil” – break a piece of it off, form it into a little cup shape, scoop up some soup with it, and/or a piece of the meat. Then pop the whole delightful morsel into your mouth.
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