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African Peanut Soup

African Peanut Soup Recipe
African Peanut Soup from The 30 Minute Vegan: Soup's On!

You know how sometimes you have really crisp, distinct memories of nothing in particular?

I barely remember what I ate for lunch yesterday, but for some reason, I have a very clear memory of making peanut soup in our old home back in Wisconsin.

I was frozen to the bone after getting home from work and looking out the kitchen window, I could see the snow falling in the street lights. I remember getting the cilantro out of the crisper drawer, measuring out the peanut butter, and chopping the onions.

So now, I always associate peanut soup with cold weather and snowy evenings. Which kind of makes it perfect for January, right?

The 30 Minute Vegan: Soup's On!

This particular African Peanut Soup recipe is from The 30 Minute Vegan: Soup’s On! by Mark Reinfeld. I am so excited about this book–it contains over 100 plant-based soup recipes!

But the best part is that almost all the soups come together in 30 minutes or less. Yes, you can have soup for dinner in 30 minutes!

If you resolved to make more home cooked meatless meals in the New Year, this is the kind of cookbook you need–these are doable recipes, not the fussy kind that you need to make on a Sunday afternoon. These are after work recipes!

African Peanut Soup from The 30 Minute Vegan: Soup's On!

Peanut soup is not exactly the lightest soup, but this recipe includes an option for trimming things down a little bit by using less coconut milk.

I made the non-light version because even though this African Peanut Soup is pretty calorie-dense, it’s also very filling, so I don’t feel the need to go back for seconds.

The chunks of sweet potatoes are perfect with the creamy, peanutty base. Although the book recommends garnishing with a Red Pepper Coulis, we loved it with just a scattering of cilantro and chopped peanuts on top.

From the book The 30 Minute Vegan Soup’s On! by Mark Reinfeld.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2013.

African Peanut Soup Recipe

African Peanut Soup

This African Peanut Soup makes a delicious weeknight meal. It's packed with flavor from African spices, coconut milk, and fresh sweet potatoes. And it's ready in just 30 minutes!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Soups
Cuisine: African
Keyword: african peanut soup, african peanut stew
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Calories: 350kcal


  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water2 15-ounce cans coconut milk1 cup diced yellow onion1/2 cup diced celery4 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced1 teaspoon seeded and diced hot chile pepper4 cups chopped sweet potato (1/2-inch pieces)1 1/2 cups chopped tomato (1/2-inch pieces) or 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste1/4 teaspoon ground black pepperPinch of cayenne pepper1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce (optional)1 tablespoon Berbere spice mix (optional)3/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, for garnish


  • Place the vegetable stock in a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the peanut butter, cilantro, and peanuts, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.Remove about 1 cup of the liquid and place it into a small bowl. Add the peanut butter and stir until creamy. Return the mixture to the pot, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add the cilantro, stir well, and garnish with peanuts before serving.


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.


Serving: 1bowlCalories: 350kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 15gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 19gSodium: 600mgFiber: 9gSugar: 9g
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

This post was originally published on January 16, 2014.

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  • Reply
    Emily Weisenburger
    March 23, 2015 at 9:48 am

    We made this last night with some trepidation as we have never had anything like this before. It was delicious! It was similar to the springroll dipping sauce we get at a local thai restaurant. We will make this again. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    This was great! Next time I’ll add a bit more spice to it. It was a little underseasoned for me. I added siracha, extra cilantro, and fresh red bell pepper.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2016 at 5:58 am

    (Just so you know, before reading this, I’m part African and I lived in Nigeria at some point in my life)
    I wouldn’t say this is an African soup because I’m pretty sure African soups aren’t made with cilantro, coconut milk, tamari or soy sauce and I know that you just used the name given in the book.
    However, I would say that it’s African-inspired and that it looks really really good! 🙂

  • Reply
    February 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    This was really good. I did not add 3/4 cup pb, thats about 500 calories, that’s insane. I added a tsp pb to each bowl, that was plenty to give it that pb flavour? I also added a couple giant handfuls of spinach to fill it out with little calories. I also used a light coconut milk. Still turned out fantastic

  • Reply
    January 5, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Do you need to pre-soften the sweet potato? I’m worried it’ll be too hard with such a short boiling period.

    • Reply
      January 5, 2017 at 9:05 am

      No need! If it’s cut into 1/2 inch pieces, then 15 minutes should be just fine. 🙂

      • Reply
        November 10, 2020 at 8:32 pm

        Turns out I’m not strong enough to chop uncooked sweet potatoes. I cooked them just a little to make it easier. So it may depend on the situation I guess.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    3 stars
    I made this tonight using my own homemade Berbere spice. I must say, I like spice. My husband, no matter how flavourful it is will never be able to handle the heat and I omitted the hot pepper! Love the smell of it cooking, and can’t wait to slurp it all up. Just before adding the cilantro, I will give it a few swipes with my immersion blender to break up some of the bigger chunks of sweet potato and tomato. I have an African peanut stew recipe which is very similar to this soup so I just know it’s going to be excellent!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    5 stars
    I made this when I was living in Morocco, and it was delicious! Making it again this week.

    • Reply
      November 10, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      I made this a second time tonight, and somehow it didn’t turn out quite the same. I am not sure why, but next time I make it I will use less of the salt and less Berbere seasoning and no cayenne because my Berbere from Penzey’s already has cayenne in it. Because my soup was so salty and spicy, I added extra coconut milk, not the canned kind and it came out delicious. Success!

  • Reply
    Patricia Biggs-Taylor
    January 15, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    I made this on a whim just to fix something different,. I thought it was amazing, and I was soo surprised when the pickiest member of my family loved it a nd has ask me to make it so many times since then. Thanks for this.

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