Bolivians love sopa de maní, a flavorful meat and vegetable stew, thickened and enriched with the earthy flavor of ground peanuts. Sopa de maní is most often made with chicken or beef, but you can use all vegetables for a delicious and nutritious vegetarian meal.
Bolivian Peanut Soup (Sopa de Mani)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Oil
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 5 cups Stock or water
- 1 pound Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cubed
- Salt and pepper – to season
- 3 Carrots, cut into rounds
- 2 Large potatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup Natural peanut butter
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high flame. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
Add the stock or water, chicken, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the carrots and simmer for 10 more minutes, Then add the potatoes and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and tender.
Whisk a little of the hot broth into the peanut butter to thin it out a bit. Then stir the peanut butter into the simmering soup. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Sopa de Maní Variations
Substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs or half a chicken, cut into pieces, for the chicken breast if you like. Sopa de maní can also be made with beef. Use cubed stewing beef, and increase the initial cooking time from 20 minutes to as much as an hour to allow the beef to get tender.
Add a couple stalks of chopped celery or a chopped ají or jalapeño pepper to the onions when you saute them. A peeled, chopped turnip or some chopped cabbage can be added along with the carrots. Toss in a half cup of rice when you add the carrots if you like or stir in some pasta.
Stir in some dried oregano or chopped parsley. Add a big pinch of Mexican saffron (azafrán) to give the soup a pleasant yellow hue.