I’ve said before that African food is my heart food. My travels to Tanzania began my love of East African cuisine. It was exciting and flavorful and familiar all at the same time. Most recipes use things that someone in a small town could find at the grocery store. Many dishes are naturally gluten free, dairy free, and vegan. This soup is dairy free and gluten free. It uses plenty of veggies and gets its smooth and creamy flavor from peanut butter and coconut milk. Tanzanian peanut soup can be ready in as little as a half hour. You could serve it with fruit and bread if you like, but I promise you, it’s filling all on its own!
Tanzanian peanut soup
1 tablespoon organic red palm oil
1 onion chopped
3 tomatoes cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 average eggplant, peeled, sliced about an inch thick, each slice cut again into 4 quarters
1/4 cup smooth, unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter (I use Justin’s)
1 can coconut milk
1 quart chicken broth
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon base (I like Better than Bouillon)
a couple dashes of Maggi (optional)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used Penzy’s Spices “sweet curry“)
salt and pepper
*red pepper flakes I went a little off course and used Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) because I have so much and I used a full teaspoon. It was excellent in this dish. You can Aleppo use pepper or cayenne pepper. The authentic pepper flake would be crushed African birdseye pepper. A good starting point would be 1/4 teaspoon and increase as you wish.
optional add-ins and ons:
2 cups greens such as spinach, chard, or collard
sliced hot pepper
1.Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and some salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the tomato and cook for about another 3 minutes. Add the garlic, Maggi (if using), bouillon, curry powder, hot pepper flakes or powder, turmeric, and a little more salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
2.Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, and peanut butter. Stir and heat to a simmer. Add the eggplant and bring it back to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the eggplant is really tender.
3.Now get out that immersion blender and blend it all up! You want it to be silky smooth. If you’re using greens, you can add them now and simmer for maybe around 5 minutes. Don’t make my mistake and add long ribbons of chard. While tasty, it conflicted with the texture of the soup. Chop those greens up real good before you add them. Top with the avocado, hot pepper, cilantro too if you please. Usually I’m all about the soup toppings but honestly, this soup is absolutely delicious without.