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African Chicken and Vegetable Soup

In addition to Christmas and New Year's Day, my children and I also celebrate Kwanzaa, the African and African-American holiday celebrating their heritage and culture. Kwanzaa is celebrated over seven days, from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. On Dec. 31, there is a huge feast called Karamu, full of African, African-American and Caribbean dishes. Typically, the feast will have a lot of peanuts and sweet potatoes, okra and black eyed peas. One dish that I make every year that my children love is African Chicken and vegetable soup. It is a very traditional Kwanzaa recipe that is bursting with flavor. Enjoy!

African Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Makes six servings

• 1 Tbsp. olive oil

• 1 onion, diced

• 4 c. vegetable broth, divided

• ½ c. peanut butter

• 2 cans diced tomatoes with juices

• ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

• 1 c. green cabbage, finely chopped

• 1 c. sweet potato, chopped

• 1 c. carrot, peeled and chopped

• 1 c. turnip, peeled and chopped

• 1 c. okra, chopped

• 1 c. chicken breast, cooked and chopped

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot; cook and stir the onion in the hot oil until translucent, about five minutes. Whisk 1/2 cup of vegetable stock and the peanut butter into the onions until the mixture is smooth. Beat in remaining vegetable stock, diced tomatoes with their liquid and crushed red pepper flakes; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the cabbage, sweet potato, carrot and turnip; simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 more minutes. Stir in the okra and chicken and simmer until the okra is tender, about 30 additional minutes.