This delectably rich stew is a westernized version of a typical African recipe, made in various ways around the continent. In its original form, African peanut stew is referred to as maafe or groundnut soup.
I first made this stew many moons ago as part of an “African feast” at my kids’ school, in conjunction with a class project. Since I was already known as a food person, I was corralled to oversee its preparation. We tried to stick with the original ingredients as much as possible, focusing on the veggies — sweet potatoes, cabbage, greens, and okra.
Privately, I doubted that any of the kids (then third and fourth graders) would eat this, especially because of the okra — not your most kid-friendly vegetable. I couldn’t have been more mistaken! The kids not only loved making it, but every last drop was scraped from the huge pot. Maybe it’s the peanut butter…
Ever since, I’ve been making this at least once a year — and only this infrequently because there are so many other soups and stews I love to make! Traditionally, this stew is eaten with a mashed root vegetable or a mushy grain, like cooked millet, but I prefer leaving that out and serving with Vegan Jalapeño Cornbread, a fantastic accompaniment with this peanut butter-flavored stew.