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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Mission To Africa

Our church has sponsored a mission trip to visit Africa (Uganda) for the past several years. Our recent trip of missionaries will be coming home soon and we are so blessed. To honor them and those that they shared the word with I thought I might share a recipe with them in mind

African-inspired squash and peanut soup

Peanuts were introduced to Africa in the 16th Century, and today many African cuisines include dishes that combine peanuts with squash or pumpkin. This hearty soup serves 10-12.

5 winter squash of mixed pedigree (I usually use a few butternuts, plus acorn, blue hubbard, or kabocha)
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
8 onions, thinly sliced
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 hot pepper (jalapeño or Thai chile), chopped fine, or red pepper flakes
Large pinch of hot curry powder
3 Tbsp peanut butter, or more to taste
Fresh squeezed lemon juice, kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut the squash and sweet potatoes in large chunks (do not peel), arrange in a large roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast until soft (1 hour, at least). Meanwhile, drizzle a large frying pan with olive oil and cook the onions over low heat until caramelized, 30 minutes or more. Put most of the onions (save enough for garnish) in a large stock pot. Scoop roasted squash and potatoes out of skins and add to pot. Sauté with chopped hot pepper and curry powder. Add enough chicken stock to cover. Bring to a simmer. Add peanut butter. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process with an immersion blender until smooth.

To fry the sage leaves, heat a couple of inches of peanut oil in a pan. Drop in the sage, a few leaves at a time, and fry for a minute or so until they are crisp but not burned. Remove with a skimmer, and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Garnish soup with reserved caramelized onions and sage leaves.

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