This nourishing and tasty yet economical soup hails from Cochabamba, Bolivia. It's a particular variation on Andean peanut and potato soup. Sopa de mani is typically made with beef ribs or chicken, but it works well as a vegetarian soup too. The ground fresh peanuts and yellow potatoes give the soup a thick and creamy texture and a light color (there's no dairy in this soup despite it's milky color) and a bit of rice is often added as well.Use whatever vegetables you have on hand to flavor the soup in addition to the basic onions and garlic. Popular additions include celery, bell peppers, carrots, peas, and even tomatoes. This soup is often served with a garnish of fried matchstick potatoes. Serve with llajua, Bolivian hot pepper sauce.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6.
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 pound beef short ribs
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 6 cups beef stock or water
- 1 cup raw unsalted peanuts
- 4 medium yukon gold or other yellow potatoes
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or cilantro for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Hot pepper sauce to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying potato sticks
- Finely mince the garlic and onions. Peel the carrots and cut them into small dice.
- Place the vegetable oil in a large soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add the beef ribs and sauté briefly until browned on all sides. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, cumin and oregano and continue to cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Add the beef broth and bring to a simmer.
- Place the peanuts in a blender or food processor and add 1 cup of water to them. Process peanuts until you have a thick, relatively smooth paste, adding more water if necessary. Add the peanut paste to the soup and stir well. Simmer soup for an hour or so, covered.
- Peel the potatoes, reserving 1 for later use. Cut the rest into small (1-2 inch) wedges and add them to the soup. Add some water or more stock to the soup if needed. Cover and simmer until potatoes are well cooked and falling apart. Mash the potatoes gently.
- Remove ribs from the soup and let cool on a plate. Remove meat from bones and add the meat back to the soup. Add the rice and simmer for 20 minutes more.
- Taste soup for seasoning. Add the peas and simmer turn down to low heat.
- Cut the remaining potato into matchsticks. Heat a 1/2 inch of oil in a small pan and cook the potato sticks until golden brown. Remove, drain on paper towels, and season with salt.
- Serve soup in bowls, garnished with the matchstick fries and chopped parsley and cilantro.