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African Peanut Soup is made with everyday pantry items that transform into a lively soup with full-bodied flavors. Richly spiced with chickpeas, ginger, garlic, and chilies in a creamy peanut tomato base, this protein-rich soup is one you will crave. Vegan and Gluten-free! Includes a Video.
The same stream of life that runs through the world runs through my veins.~Rabindranath Tagore
Dairy-free and full of protein, this African Peanut Soup is sooooo delicious! It can be served as a hearty soup, or served over millet or rice for a satisfying one-bowl meal. It all comes together fairly quickly though it tastes anything but simple. The flavors and creamy texture are reminiscent of curry, developing even more over time, making leftovers something to be very excited about!
Why is it called African Peanut Soup?
African Peanut Soup, also known as Groundnut Stew, is a cultural staple to West Africans. There are many variations of this peanut soup, with the recipe ingredients varying by region. Peanut butter (groundnuts), tomatoes, and chilies are generally the base components, the flavors are tweaked from there. Most traditions include starchy vegetables like yams and sweet potatoes. Some also include eggplant, okra, or corn, as well as chicken or other ground meats, and beans. Hot chili peppers are also traditional. It is most often served over millet or rice.
Groundnut Stew is a popular dish during Kwanzaa, a celebration of the first fruits of the harvest, African cultural heritage, and traditional values. Did you know that peanuts are known as groundnuts in many parts of the world? They actually originate from South America then somehow found their way to Africa. From there the peanut was brought over to the United States on slave ships.
Our vegan version of West African Peanut Stew is may not be completely traditional but it is none less mouthwateringly delicious.
African Peanut Soup | Video
What does African peanut Soup Taste like?
The creamy rich base is smooth and reminiscent of curry. Balanced savory flavor with a touch of sweetness and a bit of spice.
Is African Peanut Stew Healthy?
Yes! The beauty of homemade is that you can control the quality of the ingredients and adjust to your preferences. Make sure you use fresh ingredients and use natural peanut butter with nothing added-just peanuts and salt (or unsalted if that is your preference). Another way to boost nutrients is to make your own vegetable broth, with our easy and delicious recipe.
What is African Peanut Soup made from?
Onions, ginger, garlic, and serrano chili sauté together with fragrant spices create a heavenly aroma. Tender yams and chickpeas fortify the creamy peanut tomato soup base. Fresh spinach is added just before serving to lightly wilt preserving fresh flavor and nutrients.
- coconut oil
- garlic cloves
- serrano chili
- smoked paprika
- black pepper
- ground coriander
- ground cumin
- yams or sweet potatoes
- tomatoes paste
- diced tomatoes
- vegetable broth or chicken stock
- creamy natural peanut butter– no sweetener (crunchy is fine too if you like more texture)
- sea salt
- red pepper flakes
- apple cider vinegar
- fresh spinach (or a mix of baby kale and spinach is nice)
- Garnishes: Cilantro, Crushed Peanuts and Chili flakes
How to make African Peanut Soup
Cube yams, chop, dice, and minced onion, ginger, garlic, and serrano chili. Measure out spices and remaining ingredients. This will help the process flow and make cooking a much more enjoyable experience!
Tip: If you are cautious of the spicy heat of the serrano, try this instead of mincing it: Add the entire pepper when you add in the broth, letting it simmer in the soup, and then remove the cooked pepper before serving. You will get the flavor and a little softer heat.
In a soup pot with coconut oil, start sautéing, onion, garlic, ginger, and serrano chili.
Add smoked paprika, black pepper, coriander, and cumin. Adding them in with the sautéing aromatics will release and enliven the flavors of the spices and will smell amazing!
Stir this mixture until the onions start to soften, about 7 minutes.
Add yams, chickpeas, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, broth or stock, peanut butter, salt, and red pepper flakes.
Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until yams are fork-tender.
Add apple cider vinegar and salt to taste. Turn off heat and stir in spinach leaves.
Garnish with crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and red pepper flakes.
How to Serve African Peanut Soup?
Serve it in a bowl as a soup. (Use less peanut butter if you prefer it not so rich).
Serve it over cooked whole grains- like millet, rice, or quinoa for a hearty one-bowl meal.
Top with crushed toasted peanuts, fresh cilantro, and red pepper flakes (for the spice lovers).
Ways to Adapt
Swap out yams for sweet potatoes, butternut squash, potatoes, or parsnips. Or add them all!
Feel free to add more veggies! Squash, eggplant, peppers, okra…
Chard, kale, or collard greens can be used instead of spinach. Add in along with the yams to cook sufficiently.
Add cooked chicken or crispy tofu.
More Peanut recipes you may enjoy:
- Thai Burrito with Peanut Sauce
- Healthy Vegan Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce Recipe
- Bali Bowls with Peanut Tofu
- Thai Noodle Salad with the BEST EVER Peanut Sauce
- Instant Pot Peanut Chicken
- Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing
The flavors develop even more after cooking, leftovers are delicious! Keeps in the fridge for 5 days.
Hope you enjoy this African Peanut Soup. Let us know how you like it!
African Peanut Soup
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 cups 1x
- Category: Soup, Stew
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: West African
- Diet: Vegan
Spicy African Peanut Soup is made with everyday pantry items that transform into a lively soup with full bodied flavors. Richly spiced with ginger, garlic, and chilies in a creamy peanut tomato base, this protein-rich soup is one you will crave. Vegan and Gluten-free!. Serve over millet, rice, or quinoa for a satisfying one bowl meal.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated or minced
- 1 Serrano chili, diced (for less spice add the whole chili (uncut)when adding the broth and then remove before serving)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups yams, cubed
- 1 can of garbanzos or 1 1/2 cups, drained
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken stock
- 1/2–1 cup creamy natural peanut butter-no sugar added (crunchy is fine too if you like more texture) see notes
- 1– 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lb spinach (or a mix of baby kale and spinach is nice)
- Garnish: Cilantro, crushed peanuts, red pepper flakes
- In a soup pot over medium heat, start sautéing coconut oil, onion, garlic, ginger, and serrano chili. Add smoked paprika, black pepper, coriander, and cumin. Stir until the onions start to soften, about 7 minutes. Turn heat down if needed.
- Add yams, chickpeas, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, broth or stock, peanut butter, salt, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or until yams are soft.
- Add apple cider vinegar and salt to taste. Turn off heat and stir in spinach leaves.
- Serve with crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Good served over millet, rice, and quinoa.
Use less peanut butter if you prefer a less rich soup. The full amount of peanut butter is best for eating with rice or millet.
Chard, kale, or collard greens can be used instead of spinach. Add in to cook along with the yams.
Keeps in the fridge for 5 days.
Make in an instant pot. Follow step one as the recipe instructions state, using the saute’ function. On step two, Add liquids but don’t add the peanut butter! Pressure cook 10 minutes, then add peanut butter in, along with step 3.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 378
- Sugar: 9.3 g
- Sodium: 616 mg
- Fat: 20.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Carbohydrates: 40.1 g
- Fiber: 9.1 g
- Protein: 14.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: African peanut soup, peanut soup recipe, African peanut stew, vegan peanut soup, spicy African peanut soup
Very hearty and tasty, but I prefer to make it thicker & serve it over pasta. If I double the recipe I use about 5 cups of veggie broth in total. I’ve tried adding as much liquid as stated in the recipe before but there’s simply too much liquid that either makes my grains soggy or seeps through my noodles and settle into a puddle on the bottom of the bowl. There’s always a lot of leftover liquid but it really is too intense and rich to be a soup that I can comfortably drink.
I love this idea Bowie- to serve it more as a sauce. Sounds great!
This was a huge hit with my family! I served it over a bowl of rice and everyone loved it.
This was easy and absolutely delicious
Great to hear Jennifer- thanks!
I have yet to try one of your recipes that I do not like! Everything you do is delicious and this soup was no exception!!
Thanks Ella, so glad you are enjoying!
This is super yummy and so easy. I added some carrots to sub for one of the yams so I didn’t have to make an extra trip to the grocery store. This will be on repeat in this kitchen.