Chicken Peanut Soup (Kate Lawson / The Detroit News)
With the impending winter storm bearing down upon Metro Detroit last weekend, I joined the zillions of other people heading to the markets to stock up before the deep blanket of snow and deep freeze. Indeed, I felt like a squirrel gathering nuts because in fact I did purchase some almonds, walnuts and peanuts for snacking and baking. I was thrilled to learn several weeks ago that nuts are really as good for me as I always told myself they were. Somehow being validated by a scientist has given me even more resolve to include nuts in my daily diet.
But a handful of nuts day after day can be a boring proposition, so I’m always looking for ways to include them in our meals. For instance, I sprinkle almonds on roasted green beans, add walnuts to a lemon pasta and make a pecan coating for chicken breasts.
But a craving for peanuts led me to this recipe, which I uncovered in my files and adapted to suit our taste. This rich and chunky soup left us warm and cozy on a cold night and offered a nice haul of protein to light a needed fire under our metabolism to double the calorie burn. I even set out a handful of peanuts on the porch so the squirrels could indulge in a healthy snack.
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste or substitute 1 teaspoon mild ground red pepper)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
½ cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts (plus 2 tablespoons more for garnish)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cups water
15-ounce can diced tomatoes and juice
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and thyme. Heat oil in large stockpot and add chicken. Cook 3-4 minutes, browning on each side. Transfer to a plate. Add onion, apple, ½ cup peanuts and garlic to stock pot, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until onion starts to soften. Add tomato paste and reduce the heat to low, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly until paste melts and becomes fragrant. Add water and diced tomatoes along with their juice.
Return chicken to pot, bring to steady simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Blend soup in pot using an immersion blender (or carefully transfer to blender). Shred chicken, return to soup. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with scallions and remaining peanuts. Serves 4.
Per serving : 429 calories; 30.8 g fat (5.8 g saturated fat; 47 percent calories from fat); 25.4 g carbohydrates; 18.6 g protein; 5.1 g fiber.