African Peanut Soup

A bowl of African Peanut soup
Prep Time: 
30 minutes
Number of Servings: 
Recipe Source: 

From The 30 Minute Vegan: Soup’s On! by Mark Reinfeld ($17.99, Da Capo Press, 2013)


  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or water
  • 2 (15-oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 c diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 c diced celery
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp seeded and diced hot chile pepper
  • 4 c chopped sweet potato (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 1/2 c chopped tomato (1/2-inch pieces), or 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Berbere spice mix*, optional
  • 3/4 c creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 c roasted unsalted peanuts, for garnish


  1. Place stock in a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add all remaining ingredients, except peanut butter, cilantro, and peanuts, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove about 1 cup of liquid and place it into a small bowl. Add peanut butter and stir until creamy. Return mixture to pot, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add cilantro, stir well, and garnish with peanuts before serving.
  4. Variations: You can sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil before adding the vegetable stock. Replace the peanut butter with almond butter or other nut butter. For a lighter soup, replace one can of coconut milk with an equivalent amount of vegetable stock or water. Add 2 cups of chopped spinach, chard, or kale once the peanut butter is added.


Add the vegetables as you chop them, to fit this dish into a 30-minute time frame. Serve over quinoa or rice.

*Berbere is a spice blend that consists of up to 10 different spices common to Ethiopian cuisine. You can make your own by combining the following ingredients in a bowl and mixing well: 2 teaspoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons of dried ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2  teaspoon of fenugreek, 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.