African Peanut Soup

A bowl of African Peanut soup
Prep Time: 
30 minutes
Number of Servings: 
Recipe Source: 
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
  • 12 c diced celery
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp seeded and diced hot chile pepper
  • 4 c chopped sweet potato (12-inch pieces)
  • 1 12 c chopped tomato (12-inch pieces), or 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 14 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Berbere spice mix*, optional
  • 34 c creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 12 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, 12 teaspoon of ground allspice, 12 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 12  teaspoon of fenugreek, 14 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 14 teaspoon of ground cloves, and 14 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.