A lot of times, when people say a soup is thick enough to be a meal, they're playing you. But this soup sustains, partly because of protein-rich ingredients like peanuts and chicken. This hearty stew takes its cues from West Africa, particularly Senegal and The Gambia, known for peanut, or groundnut, stews. It’s also easy to make and quite satisfying for those who love peanut butter. And this recipe puts the African staple—peanuts—to good use in this slightly spicy stew. Chunky, creamy, or natural? It doesn’t matter what type of peanut butter you use here, as this recipe is topped off with unsalted peanuts to provide an earthy bite. The added bonus of peanut butter gives the stew a silky texture, nutty flavor, and a welcomed crunch. And added spices, like curry powder and ground red pepper, offer a flavorful contrast to the sweetness of the peanut butter and broth, while the chicken and vegetables really beef up this filling stew. The broth we use in this recipe is made with celery, onions, carrots, and sweet potatoes. The vegetables for the broth are cooked in olive oil in a large stockpot until tender, short of falling apart. Lastly, the sweet potato mixture is blended in a food processor or blender until smooth. We recommend making the sweet potato broth on the same day you plan to prepare the Peanut Chicken Stew, but it can be cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days, if you don’t have time to prepare both recipes. Feel free to make a vegetarian version of this stew by omitting the cooked chicken. You can enjoy it served in individual bowls, or over a bed of fluffy brown or white rice.
Stir together first 5 ingredients and 4 cups Sweet Potato Broth in a medium stockpot. Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring occasionally, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in up to 2 cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with peanuts, and serve immediately.