Peanut-Piquin Soup

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Each Afican country seems to have its own version of peanut soup, or groundnut soup.  It is common all over Africa, but it is especially popular in the in the western part.  The soup can be made a day head to blend the flavors, and then carefully reheated.


  • 1 pound shelled, roated peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 3 dried, crushed piquin chiles, or 3 fresh jalapenos, seeds and stems removed, minced
  • 8 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • * Garnish: chopped parsley and chopped chives


Rub the skins off the peanuts.  Place the nuts in a food processor and grind them to a very fine meal.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a large casserole and saute the onion and carrots for 2 minutes.  Add the chiles, the reserved nuts, and the stock and brin the mixture to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer, and simmer uncovered fo 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Pour 1/2 cup of the milk into a small jar, add the cornstarch, and shake vigorously,  Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into the soup and then stir continously for 1 minute.  Then, add the remaining milk, all of the cream, and the salt.  Simmer for 3 minutes, and do not allow the mixture to boil.  Cover the soup and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve the soup hot, garnish with the parsley and chives.

Texas Chilipiquin BBQ Sauce

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The wild chiles called chiltepins in Mexico and the Southwest are known as chilipiquins in Texas. We always have some of the berry-like pods available because we grow them as perennials, but they’re difficult to find in markets. So substitute any pequin or small, extremely hot chile. This is a finishing sauce for grilled or smoked beef, chicken, or pork to be applied before serving or served on the side.


  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter, margarine, or vegetable oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups catsup

  • ½ cup cider vinegar

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 3 teaspoons crushed chilipiquins, or other small, hot dried chiles

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Salt to taste


In a small skillet, saute the onion in the butter until soft. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

Combine all the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to blend. Bring to a boil over high heat and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chile Piquin Salsa

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‘This salsa is served either smooth or as a salsa that has texture. It’s best made with fully ripe tomatoes, but if they aren’t available, canned tomatoes can be substituted. ‘


  • This salsa is served either smooth or as a salsa that has texture. It&rquo;s best made with fully ripe tomatoes, but if they aren&rquo;t available, canned tomatoes can be substituted. The flavor of the salsa is better made with canned, rather than under-ripe tomatoes.

  • 2 tablespoons crushed chile piquin, including seeds

  • 6 roma tomatoes, chopped or substitute 2 cups canned tomatoes

  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • Pinch ground cumin

  • Pinch oregano, Mexican preferred

  • Salt to taste


In a mixing bowl, cover the chiles with 1 cup of very hot water and let steep for a couple of minutes.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients with the chile, and chile water and simmer for a couple of minutes. If the salsa is too thick, thin with water or broth to desired consistency. Season to taste.

Pour the salsa into a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour to blend the flavors before serving. For a smooth salsa, put the salsa into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, adding additional liquid is needed.