Recipe: Spicy Sweet Potato Peanut Bisque

Welcome to SQUASH WEEK! My first 5 posts for Vegan MoFo will be all about squash… it’s in season, easy to get locally, chock full of Vitamin A, delicious, pretty, and easy to cook. Now I know what you’re going to say. Sweet potatoes aren’t squash. And you’re right. But they do meet all the aforementioned criteria, so we’ll go with that.

My first squashy installment is a recipe from – fowarded to me by one of my co-workers. I KNEW I’d have to try it as soon as I saw it – I’m a sucker for any kind of spicy peanut dish. This is a rich, creamy, satisfying dish originating in west Africa. You can adjust the spiciness to your own liking.

2-3 large sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups reduced-sodium tomato-vegetable juice blend or tomato juice
1 can (4-ounce) or 4-6 fresh – green chiles, preferably hot, drained. I used jalapenos, seeds removed.
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
15 oz vegetable broth
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Prick sweet potatoes in several places with a fork. Microwave on High until just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. I baked mine in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until they were easy to pierce with a fork.
Set aside to cool.

Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add onion and cook, stirring, until it just begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
Stir in juice, green chiles, ginger, and allspice.
Adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently; cook for 10 minutes.
While that is cooking, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-size pieces.
Add half to the pot.
Place the other half in a food processor or blender along with broth and peanut butter.
Puree until completely smooth.
Add the puree to the pot and stir well to combine.
Thin the bisque with water, if desired.
Season with pepper.
Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

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