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Tastes & Travels

Peanut Soup with Chicken

This soup is a labor of love in many homes in Ghana. While there are a few steps involved, don’t be tempted to skimp on them - the result is a rich, silky smooth soup that’s deeply flavorful. While you can certainly serve this soup with a scoop of rice or some flatbread, I like it over a few handfuls of crisp baby spinach. Not only does it look beautiful, it balances the richness of the soup perfectly.

Peanut Soup with Chicken

Serves 4 


  • ½ medium onion, cut into chunks 
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled 
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced 
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and coarsely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • Kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee 
  • 1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks 
  • 2 fresh bay leaves 


  • 4 large ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks 
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks 
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled 
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced 
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and coarsely chopped 
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water, plus more as needed 
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter 
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • 8 cups spinach leaves, roughly torn 
  • Garnishes: cilantro, sliced jalapeno or fresno, lime wedges, optional 
  1. For the chicken, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, tomato paste, thyme, cumin, cloves  and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender. Blend to make an almost smooth paste. Add the chicken  broth and blend until very smooth. 
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the coconut oil or ghee. Season the chicken  with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken. Cook and stir until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add  the onion puree and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat and cover the pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, for the sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger  and jalapeno. Pour in 1 cup stock or water. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover and cook  until the tomatoes and onions are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  4. When the chicken is tender, return the sauce to the blender (no need to wash the blender) and  puree until smooth. Set a strainer over the chicken pot and strain the sauce right into the pot.  Stir and return to a simmer just to combine the flavors, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Put the peanut butter and remaining 1/2 cup stock in the blender (no need to wash the blender)  and blend until smooth. Whisk into the simmering soup. Simmer just to combine the flavors, 2 to 
  6. 3 minutes, adding a little more chicken stock if needed. (The soup should be slightly thick, like  melted ice cream.) Stir in the lime juice and season with salt, if needed. 
  7. To serve, mound spinach leaves in 4 shallow serving bowls. Ladle the soup over. Garnish with  cilantro, jalapeno and lime wedges, if desired.

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