As we grapple through the bleak mid winter, Madrid resident and chef Isotta Peria, founder of Eatsperience shares with us her delicious remedy against the cold!
I want to share with Madrid Metropolitan friends a winter recipe, warm, delicious, and rich in nutrients, which holds a special place in my heart. The Sopa de Maní – Peanut Soup, is a typical Bolivian dish, perhaps an evolution of the Spanish meat soup, with the addition of the ingredient that gives its name to this dish: peanuts.
Peanuts (whose name’s Maní in many countries in South America) are an especially good source of healthful fats, protein, and fiber. They also contain plenty of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins. Despite being high in calories, peanuts are nutrient-rich and low in carbohydrates.
To celebrate both the Spanish gastronomy, the country that adopted me, and the Bolivian one, my wife’s country whose gastronomy is spectacular and unfortunately almost wholly unknown in Europe, I’ love you to try my version of the traditional Sopa de Maní – Peanut soup.
Sopa de Maní * Peanut Soup
Ingredients for 4 people
- ½ kg chicken pieces
- 1 cup peanuts (raw or toasted)
- 1 peeled white onion
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 cup of peas (raw or frozen)
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1/2 bell pepper
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 liter of broth (vegetable/beef/chicken)
- EVO oil
- 4 potatoes
- Salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, parsley, and ground chili pepper (optional)
- 250g of rice
- Mince the garlic, onion, carrot, celery stalk, bell pepper, and chop 3 potatoes (save 1 for later) into small dices.
- Then, in a pot, sauté these ingredients together with the peas and a drizzle of EVO oil.
- Once they are golden brown, add the chicken pieces and sauté them over medium-high heat during 2-3 minutes, then add the broth, cover and let it cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, boil the rice, and when it’s ready, put it aside. Take the last potato, cut it into small French fries, and deep fry them, salt them, and set aside.
- In a blender, blend peanuts with ground chili pepper and a ladle of the broth from the pot until reaching a smooth and creamy texture.
- Pull out of the pot the chicken pieces, remove the skin and the bones, and put it back in the pot.
- Add the peanut cream to the pot, and mix well.
- Then, add the rice, season with salt and the spices, and cook for another 5 minutes while stirring.
Serve in soup dishes, and decorate with French fries and fresh parsley.
Some possible variations:
- Vegan: substitute the chicken with vegetables rich in proteins (broccoli for example)
- Non-hot: substitute the chili powder with non-spicy paprika
- Not rice fan? Substitute it with small pasta or with the grains you like the most
A hot bowl of this peanut soup is ideal for a Sunday lunch on a cold winter’s day.
The delicacy and smooth texture of the peas play in contrast with the crispy, savory chips. The juicy chicken gives us that feeling of “home” typical of British and Mediterranean culture, while the twist of the spicy peanut cream surprises us and transports us to a new and different culture from ours.
The flavours are perfectly balanced: known and new flavours embrace each other in a dish that has become, since the first time I tried it, one of my favorites in the world.