One-pot meals (like soups or stews) have long been favored recipes in my kitchen, but lately I’ve been experimenting with a global twist on this genre: peanut soups. This West African culinary tradition has yet to reach mainstream food culture in the US, but it’s only a matter of time. After all, Americans are always looking for a new delivery vehicle for jelly’s better half.
Hearty butternut squash soup serves as the perfect base for the classic, nutty spread, while the pureed chickpeas add a velvety texture, and a familiar, satisfying flavor (think hummus – another snack dip obsession). If you enjoyed my white bean soup, then you’ll love this creamy, earthy creation, inspired by a recipe from Joanne Chang’s Flour, Too cookbook.
Butternut Squash and Peanut Soup with Chickpeas
Adapted from Joanne Chang’s Spicy Peanut-Squash Soup
Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)
- 2/3 cup dried chickpeas (or one 15 oz can)
- 1 ½ pounds chopped butternut squash, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (double if you prefer a spicier soup)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water (add more if you prefer a thinner texture)
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (no added oils or sugars)
- Optional garnishes: fresh cilantro, green onions, roasted peanuts, lime wedges
- If using dried chickpeas, put them in a large bowl, cover with water, and let them soak overnight. Then, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add the chickpeas to a pot of fresh water and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and let simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours. When chickpeas are tender, remove from heat, drain, and rinse. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally for one minute. Then add the butternut squash, salt, cumin, red pepper flakes, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the vegetable broth, water, and drained chickpeas and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir in the peanut butter. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Using an immersion or handheld blender, blend the soup into a pureed texture. If the soup seems too thick, feel free to add more water.
- Ladle about 1 1/3 cups of soup into serving bowls, and add garnishes (like peanuts, cilantro, lime wedges, and/or green onions), if using.
Nutrition per serving: 320 calories, 19g fat (2g saturated fat), 31g carbohydrates (8g fiber, 6g sugar), 13g protein, 345mg sodium, 195% Vitamin A, 34% Vitamin C, 9% Calcium, 15% Iron
Nutrition analysis does not include optional garnishes