This African Peanut Soup recipe 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 in West Africa. This peanut soup has many variations, with the recipe ingredients varying by region. Peanut butter (aka groundnuts), tomatoes, and chilies are generally the base components. Most traditions include starchy vegetables like yams and sweet potatoes. Some also include eggplant, okra, or corn, as well as chicken thighs or other 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 originated 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 may not be completely traditional but it is nonetheless mouthwateringly delicious!
African Peanut Soup | Video
Why You Will Love African Peanut Soup
1. Bold and Unique Flavors: African Peanut Soup is a burst of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds. The combination of spices like ginger, garlic, and chilies, along with the creamy peanut tomato base, creates a rich and aromatic soup that is truly unforgettable.
2. Nutritious and Filling: This soup is delicious and packed with nutrients. With ingredients like yams or sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and fresh spinach, it provides a good dose of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s a hearty and satisfying meal that will keep you full and energized.
3. Versatile and Customizable: African Peanut Soup is incredibly versatile and can be customized to suit your preferences. You can add your choice of vegetables, adjust the level of spiciness, and top it with garnishes like crushed peanuts and cilantro. Make it your own and experiment with different variations!
4. Cultural Significance: African Peanut Soup is deeply rooted in West African culinary traditions. By enjoying this soup, you not only savor its incredible taste but also get a glimpse into the vibrant culture and heritage of the region. It’s a dish that carries a beautiful story and adds a touch of cultural appreciation to your dining experience.
Ingredients In African Peanut Soup
- Coconut oil: You can substitute with other neutral oils like avocado oil if desired.
- Onion: Use yellow or white onion for a mild flavor. You can also use red onion for added sweetness.
- Garlic cloves: Fresh garlic is recommended for the best flavor, but you can use garlic powder as a substitute (1/2 teaspoon equals approximately 2 cloves).
- Ginger: Fresh ginger is preferable, but if unavailable, you can use ground ginger (1/2 teaspoon equals approximately 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger).
- Serrano chili: Adjust the amount according to your spice preference. If you can’t find serrano chili, you can substitute with jalapeño or any other spicy chili pepper.
- Smoked paprika: If you don’t have smoked paprika, regular paprika can be used as a substitute.
- Black pepper: Freshly ground black pepper is recommended, but pre-ground black pepper works as well.
- Ground coriander: Adds a lovely earthy, sweet and floral notes.
- Ground cumin: Adds a warm nutty element.
- Yams or sweet potatoes: Both yams and sweet potatoes work well in this recipe. Choose whichever you prefer or have on hand. Or try butternut squash, potatoes, or parsnips.
- Chickpeas: For protein, texture and nutty flavor.
- Tomato paste: Gives a rich tangy depth.
- Diced tomatoes: You can use canned diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, depending on your preference.
- Vegetable broth or chicken stock: Choose whichever you prefer or have available.
- Creamy natural peanut butter: Look for peanut butter with no added sugar or sweeteners. Crunchy peanut butter can be used if you prefer a bit of texture in the soup.
- Red pepper flakes: Add more or less depending on how spicy you like your soup. Can also use Cayenne pepper.
- Apple cider vinegar: Gives a tang that really balances the soup.
- Fresh spinach: You can use other leafy greens like kale or collard greens. Or a mix.
- Garnishes: Cilantro, crushed peanuts, and additional red pepper flakes are optional garnishes that add extra flavor and texture to the soup.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to make West AFrican Peanut Soup
STEP ONE- 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.
STEP TWO- In a large 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.
STEP THREE- Add yams, chickpeas, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, broth or stock, peanut butter, salt, and red pepper flakes.
STEP FOUR- Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until yams are fork-tender.
STEP FIVE- Add apple cider vinegar and salt to taste. If you like a creamier consistency, feel free to use an immersion blender! Turn off heat and stir in spinach leaves.
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, brown rice, or quinoa for a hearty one-bowl meal.
- Top with crushed toasted peanuts, fresh cilantro, and red pepper flakes (for the spice lovers).
- For more protein, add cooked chicken or crispy tofu.
African Peanut Soup FAQS
The creamy rich base is smooth and reminiscent of curry. Balanced savory flavor with a touch of sweetness and a bit of spice.
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.
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.
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!
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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.
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