Ghanaian Groundnut (Peanut Butter) Soup

For some odd reason, I was never a fan of groundnut soup growing up. I was all about red red, jollof rice and fufu with chicken soup so I did not find the need to also consume groundnut soup. I would usually shy away from it when my mum made omutuo (groundnut soup and rice ball). It was not very popular at home so she didn’t make it as much

But as I grew up and eventually went vegan, there were days where I craved this meal so much. I guess absence can make the heart grow fonder. However, veganizing Ghanaian soups were always daunting because they are meat based and finding a good alternative was challenging. However with the support and ingenuity of my mum and some persistance, I finally found a process that seems to work for me. Now I am eating this soup all the time and I can’t get enough of it . This is the real peanut butter soup, not one of those fluffy recipes that vegan bloggers share nor is it an “African Peanut soup” because each country has their own flavours. Okay, I’m done with the shade now.

Recipe

Ingredients
  • 250g oyster mushrooms + 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic 
  • 1 large thumb of ginger
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 large whole tomato
  • 1 scotch bonnet
  • 1 Portuguese pepper (optional)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp veggie stock
  • 1/2 tsp dawa dawa (can substitute with garam masala)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter + 2/3 cups warm water*
  • 1 block firm tofu (optional)

* you can add less if you do not want it to be spicy

Directions
  1. Steam mushrooms with chopped onions, garlic, ginger, whole tomato, pepper, whole onion, veggie stock powder and dawa dawa in 3 cups of water till the water is boiling
  2. When it boils, turn the heat down, remove the mushrooms and set aside then blend the whole tomato, scotch bonnet, Portuguese pepper, ginger, whole onion with 1 cup of water
  3. Sift the blended mixture into the soup and discard the leftover fibre (I saved it for a future sauce).
  4. Add the tomato paste
  5. Add in the rest of the water (4 cups) and bring the soup to a boil for 5 mins.
  6. While the soup is boiling, mix together 1/3 cup of peanut butter with two parts water (2/3 cups of warm water). Add the water slowly so that the mixture does not separate. You will get a nice milky consistency that is neither too thick nor too watery.
  7. After 5 mins has passed, add in the peanut butter mixture into the boiling soup and let the soup bubble away. Keep the heat at medium and the soup uncovered. 
  8. There is no set time to allow the soup to boil. You will know that the soup is ready when it has reduced, it is no longer foaming and that oil has pooled at the top. You will be looking for red streaks throughout the pot that looks almost like palm oil (red oil). Please refer to the youtube video if you are unsure how this looks like. 
  9. Once the soup is at this stage, add back the mushrooms and also the tofu. Let it simmer at low for another 5mins then take it off the oven
  10. You can serve this soup with a rice ball (omutuo) or any other carb.
  11. You can store the soup in the fridge or on the stove. (if stored on the stove you just need to heat the soup everyday on the stove)
For the visual learners: here is the youtube video
Make sure to pin the recipe for later

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