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.

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!

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

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!

Ingredient Notes

  • 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.

Adding in fresh spinach.

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

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 Soup 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 in African Peanut Soup?

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.

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!

More Recipes You May Enjoy

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!

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!

~Tonia

Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

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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!

African Peanut Soup Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 65 reviews
  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup, Stew
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: West African
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

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.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 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
  • 1/21 cup creamy natural peanut butter-no sugar added (crunchy is fine too if you like more texture) see notes
  • 11 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add apple cider vinegar and salt to taste.  Turn off heat and stir in spinach leaves.
  4. Serve with crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and red pepper flakes.  Good served over millet, rice, and quinoa.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

  • 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

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Comments

  1. Delicious, you did it again! I didn’t have a serrano pepper but used frozen jalapeno tips, minced. I used power greens in place of all spinach because it’s what I had. I’ll add red pepper to mine tonight. Sadly, my husband doesn’t enjoy hot peppers. Served over tri-color quinoa. This is a keeper! Thank you!






  2. I loved the rich creamy texture and the aromatics. So healthy too. I love all your recipes. They all come out so good and your tips are so helpful. Thank you for all your work!

  3. Outstanding recipe! Like something exotic tasting from a restaurant. Super delicious. Each time I’ve made it for “company” they’ve gone crazy for it. Thank you for providing this wonderful recipe.






  4. This came out so well! I chopped the yam rather small and it added a nice fluffy texture. The Serrano pepper and all the spices tasted great. Thank you!






  5. Made this last night and they loved it. Rich, creamy, aromatic, and perfect for a winter night. Thanks wonderful recipe.






  6. This recipe is absolutely wonderful.. I had to substitute a few things.. but hey.. I made it work to my liking.. so I thank you for providing the foundation! Bon’ Appetit.!!






  7. I made it during the lockdown and am so happy to be reminded of it! I’m determined to keep it in the rotation now. Can this soup be frozen?

  8. We really enjoyed this. I diced up the serrano and at first was a little worried it would be too spicy for my husband but, as it simmered, the spice mellowed out. Of course, I wouldn’t have minded a bit more kick but I’m glad we were both able to enjoy it!






  9. Delicious. Great for fall/winter. Really an excellent recipe with great balance–the splash of apple cider vinegar prevents the peanut butter from making this too sweet. I like how customizable this recipe is to your taste–more or less peanut butter, more or less chili, you can really make it work for you. I used a (very) long hot pepper because I couldn’t find serranos at the store, diced it into tiny pieces and the soup came out pretty picante!! My lips are buzzing! But we like it that way. Thank you!






  10. This dish is a delight. It`s so consistent, creamy and delicious. This is a have-to for peanut butter lovers. I thought about putting coconut milk in it, but that would´ve been a huge mistake. Thank you, You are really a great cook.






      1. This stew was amazing and our guests agreed! I made a double batch and froze some for a dreary day. Only change I made was to use kale instead of spinach as I thought the kale might freeze better. Great, unique recipe!






  11. Very happy with this. I made a 1.5x batch in order to have enough leftover to share with our vegetarian son. Used our garden chard and jalapeños as well as homemade broth and served it with quinoa. Forgot to add the vinegar, but it was still great . I’ll probably add a bit to the leftovers. Will definitely make again.






  12. This recipe was absolutely delicious and very easy to make – it will join many other recipes from this site that will become a weekly family favourite!






  13. 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.






  14. This was a huge hit with my family! I served it over a bowl of rice and everyone loved it.






  15. 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!!






  16. 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.






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