Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tanzania Tuesday #18

recipe for supu na karanga, viazi vitamu, na nazi - a tanzanian peanut, sweet potato, and coconut soup

Decided to attempt another Tanzanian recipe in honor of World Vegetarian Month ... but struggled to find something I really wanted to make. What I wanted was a rich, warm soup ... with peanuts and coconut and sweet potatoes and tomatoes and goodness. 

But I couldn't find any recipes with all of that. 

I could find a recipe for a bean and coconut soup, but that wasn't quite right. 

And this gorgeous "Supu Viazi" recipe from Sasha Martin's amazing Global Table Adventure blog was soooooo close, but not exactly what I wanted... (But, seriously, the Global Table Adventure blog is amazing ... I can't wait to make her Falafel Scotch Eggs recipe!)

Even closer was this "African Peanut Soup" recipe from Mark Reinfeld's The 30 Minute Vegan: Soup's On! featured on Oh My Veggies... but it wasn't quite right either.

I decided to blend the two recipes based on personal taste... and what I had in the house. Sweet potatoes (viazi vitamu), tomatoes (nyanya), peanuts (karanga), onions (vitunguu), carrots (karoti), cilantro (ummm, cilantro?)... and what's that in the upper left?

Canned coconut milk. Yeah, I wasn't about to milk a coconut today. It was a fun challenge with the mchicha recipe... but I honestly don't think it really added anything. So canned coconut milk it is. 

Also, if that seems like a whole lotta peanut butter... it is. Three quarters of a cup. I was a little nervous about this, but what the heck. It's just dinner. 

I started by dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, slicing the carrots, chopping the tomatoes, and cubing the sweet potatoes. It was a festival of knives for about 15 minutes. (Did I mention I am spectacularly slow at chopping? Well, I am... ) 

Then I sautéed the onion in a little olive oil until soft and translucent, and then added the garlic and carrot for another few minutes. Then I dumped in the rest of the ingredients, excluding the peanut butter, peanuts, and cilantro, and simmered for 10 minutes. 

I checked a sweet potato cube -- lovely and soft! -- and scooped a cup or so of the hot liquid into a bowl with the peanut butter and stirred them together until well blended. I then scooped about a third of the soup into the bowl and hit it with my immersion blender -- I really wanted a thick soup. I poured the pureed soup / peanut butter mix back into the big pot, stirred it all together, and let it warm back up for a few minutes. 

I scooped some of the soup over some leftover rice, topped it with some fresh cilantro and peanuts...

dinner is served

The result? So good. The blend of flavors, the chunks of sweet potatoes, and the rich creamy texture was exactly what I what I wanted on a stormy autumn night. Be ye warned: this makes a lot of soup. I ended up freezing about half of it in double-serving containers, and we'll still have it for two, possibly three dinners. It's filling and delicious!

Tanzanian Peanut, Sweet Potato, and Coconut Soup

Adapted from Sasha Martin's "Supu Viazi" and Mark Reinfeld's "African Peanut Soup" recipes.
Serves 6-8

  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans coconut milk -- you could lighten up the recipe by subbing one of the cans for an additional 2 cups of veggie broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrots, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, cubed into half-inch pieces
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  1. Sauté the onion in a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat for three minutes. 
  2. Add the carrots and garlic and sauté an additional three minutes. 
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except peanut butter, cilantro, and peanuts. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Check a cube of sweet potato -- is it soft? If so, scoop out a cup of the liquid and pour it into a medium bowl. Add the peanut butter to the bowl and stir until well blended. 
  5. Scoop about a third of the soup from the pot into the bowl with the peanut butter and puree with an immersion blender. Don't have an immersion blender? No worries! You could mash the mixture in the bowl with a potato masher or a fork... or you could skip this step altogether. 
  6. Return the peanut mixture to the pot, stir well, and cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Serve over ugali, rice, your grain of choice -- or on its own. Garnish with a small handful of peanuts and chopped cilantro. 

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