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Meatless Meals for Lent: Sopa de Maní (Peanut Soup)


Editor’s Note: Missioner Aubrey Kimble has been serving in Carmen Pampa for just over a year. She shares a taste of Bolivia that can be recreated anywhere.

One of my favorite traditional Bolivian dishes is sopa de maní, or peanut soup. This soup can be served with or without meat, but since the volunteers in Carmen Pampa usually lean towards a vegetarian diet, this dish is perfect for Lent. It is usually served as an appetizer in restaurants for lunch, followed by a main course. However, I personally love it so much that I make it at home as an entire meal. 

Recipe serves 4


1 c untoasted peanuts
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 carrots, chopped
A bit of cabbage, chopped
1 potato, peeled and cubed
½ c peas
1 t cumin
½ t white pepper
½ t ground pepper
½ t Spanish paprika
1 veggie bouillon cube
Oil and salt to taste
½ c fine-grain pasta
1 potato, julienne chopped (small, thin slices) to adorn the dish

Parsley to adorn the dish


Grind the peanuts with water in a blender. Set aside.

In a pot with a little bit of oil, sauté the onion until it is translucent.

Add the carrots, peas, and spices and sauté for a few minutes. Add the chopped potato and cabbage along with about 2 liters of water (1 liter = about 4.2 cups). Let boil on medium high for 20 minutes.

Add the ground peanuts and pasta and let boil for another 12 minutes. Don’t cover the pot—the peanuts will boil over! 

While the soup is cooking fry the julienned potato in oil.

Serve the soup with French fries and parsley on top.

Of course, sopa de maní is always served with llajwa, a traditional Bolivian hot sauce. (Stay tuned next week for Maggie’s recipe.) It is delicious! 

Aubrey’s reflection for Lent:

Bendícenos, Señor, y bendice estos alimentos que dados por tu bondad vamos a tomar. Por Cristo nuestro Señor, Amen. 

It’s basically the prayer that we say before eating: Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive through thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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Aubrey has been in Bolivia since January 2016 serving at Unidad Académica Campesina-Carmen Pampa, a rural college. She works at the children's library and in a daycare for students' babies. She also accompanies students in their daily and after-school activities, such as Pastoral group, English Club, and Mujeres Valientes, a women's empowerment group.

Aubrey’s heart lies in service, the Spanish language, and music – she has been playing the cello for 11 years. While studying economics and Spanish at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Aubrey became a Catholic and discovered her love for service through Newman Center alternative spring break trips to Philadelphia and Staten Island. Her desire to be the hands and feet of Christ among the poor motivated her serve on overseas mission.