West African peanut soup is a tasty vegan soup made with sweet potato. Easy to make, it's warming, comforting and delicious.
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When I saw we had a peanut butter theme for this month's Foodie Extravaganza, I knew I wanted to make a soup with it. I know it sounds a bit weird, especially as there are so many ways you can enjoy it. Peanut butter sandwiches are one of my son's favorites for lunch and it can be great in baking. But bear with me.
I made a soup a while back using peanut butter and while that particular one didn't turn out quite as I hoped, I liked the general idea. I had vague memories of having seen an African peanut soup before and on further research, I found it would be perfect for the theme. Easy to make, deliciously warming, this soup is great for a cold day.
Variations on West African peanut soup
As with so many traditional recipes, there are many variations on the theme of African peanut soup. Also called groundnut stew and many other names, it originates in Mali and Ghana in particular. Some versions have chicken in there, others have collards or other greens.
Most recipes use garlic and ginger are generally but the other seasoning can vary a lot. Some people serve it as more of a stew, others more of a soup. You can spice it up, or not, to taste as well.
How to make West African Peanut Soup
This soup is really easy to make. It's similar to many soups in that you simply soften the onion, sweat down with the sweet potato a little then add the liquid. Simmer until the sweet potato is cooked but it won't take long. Which is just as well as it smells so good as you are cooking.
West African soup is a delicious combination of flavors that's comforting, warming and delicious. I think it must be one of the few largely undiscovered soups that everyone needs to try. While as I say you get versions with chicken, this one is vegan and gluten free so nearly everyone can enjoy. It also doesn't have too many extra additions in spices but you really don't need them, this combination is so good. Try it and you'll see what I mean.
Try these other hearty vegetable soups:
- Butternut squash soup with apple, sage and thyme
- Delicata squash soup with curried chickpeas and onions
- Borscht (Russian beet, cabbage and root veg soup)
- Plus get more comforting winter recipes in the archives.
West African peanut soup
- ½ onion large
- 13 ½ oz sweet potato 390g (approx, use 1 large sweet potato)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic , crushed/finely grated
- ½ tablespoon finely grated ginger (approx 4cm piece)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes 240ml
- ¼ cup unsalted unsweetened peanut butter 4tbsp
- 2 cups light stock 480ml
- 2 tablespoon cilantro/coriander chopped
- Dice the onion relatively small and peel and dice the sweet potato.
- Warm the oil in a stock pot/pan and add the onion. Cook for a couple minutes until it is starting to soften then add the sweet potato. Stir, cook a minute or two then add the garlic, ginger and cumin. Stir well.
- Cover and reduce the heat. Allow the sweet potatoes to sweat a couple minutes then add the tomatoes and peanut butter. Mix through well then add the stock.
- Bring to a simmer then cover and cook for around 15min (more or less depending on size of pieces) until the sweet potato is tender. You can leave the soup chunky if you prefer, but I prefer to largely mash the sweet potato through so it is fairly smooth. Before serving, add the cilantro, mix through and serve.
- Note - if you'd like it a bit spicier, you can add some of your favorite hot sauce when you serve it.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try these other Peanut Butter recipes for Foodie Extravaganza:
- Cold Noodles with Asian Peanut Sauce from Hardly a Goddess
- Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars from Palatable Pastime
- Peanut Butter Bars with Oatmeal and Chocolate Chips from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Bread from Making Miracles