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West African Peanut Soup Recipe From the Kitchen of Susan Silverman

This is a favorite dish at the Silverman home and blends their sons birth country with their own family traditions.
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This recipe comes from the kitchen of Susan Silverman. She’s a mother of 5, a rabbi, an activist, an adoption advocate, and author of the book Casting Lots. She and her family live in a quiet neighborhood in the city of Jerusalem. ​

You can hear her interview on the Today's Mama Podcast HERE!

This is a favorite dish at the Silverman home and blends their sons birth country with their own family traditions. Susan shared this recipe with us (which originally comes from this recipe on Washington Post which was adapted from the original Moosewood Restaurant recipe). ​



Serving size: 3-4 servings; makes 4 1/2 to 5 cups

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  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small celery rib, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce, plus more to taste
  • 12 ounces sweet potatoes, peeled, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice, preferably low-sodium
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices, for garnish


Pour the oil into a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the ginger and Tabasco. Add the sweet potatoes and water. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the liquid is barely bubbling around the edges. Cover and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the tomato juice and peanut butter. Use an immersion (stick) blender to create a creamy, pureed soup. (If you use a blender instead, work in batches and remove the center knob in the lid, placing a paper towel over the opening to avoid splashups. Pour back into the soup pot.) Stir in the chopped cilantro and warm through. Taste, and add salt and/or hot sauce as needed.

Divide among bowls and top with the scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve hot.

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