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West African Ground Nut Soup
The definitive Ghanaian recipe!
1 c. smooth peanut butter, unsweetened
2-3 cups water
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 lb. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2-3 green peppers, cored and seeded, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 bunch scallions, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 eggplant, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
small handful finely chopped celery
3 c. onions, finely chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
1 lb. stewing beef
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
15 ounces crab meat (2 cans if using canned)
4 c. cooked long-grain white rice
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
coarsely chopped parsley
fresh coconut, grated, as a condiment
assorted tropical fruit as accompaniment


Bring water and peanut butter to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for 1 hour, skimming surface foam and stirring as necessary. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut up vegetables and set aside, covered.

Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Salt beef and chicken well, sprinkle with cayenne pepper (be careful, there!), then brown chicken on all sides, followed by stewing beef, adding a little more oil if necessary. Pour peanut butter soup over meats and bring to a boil, stirring well to incorporate. Turn heat down to low and simmer for at least two hours, stirring regularly to prevent sticking. Toward the last 3/4 hour add the green peppers, scallions, eggplant, celery and onions. (NOTE: It is not necessary to sauté vegetables first.) At end of cooking time stir in crab meat, and correct seasonings as necessary.

Prepare rice according to package directions to yield 4 cups hot cooked rice.

To serve, mound rice on large platter, ladle soup over rice and sprinkle with parsley (I prefer the flat-leaf variety) and grated coconut. Pass a small bowl of cayenne pepper, and offer sliced tropical fruit to accompany soup - mango, papaya, pineapple, guava, banana.
Can be prepared in advance; add crab meat just before serving and heat through.

Serves 6-8

Preparation Time: 1 hour Serves: 8
Recipe Origin: Ghana
Submitted by:
Joyce Matthews
British Columbia
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