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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 apartment 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.

This post was originally published on January 16, 2014.


African Peanut Soup

African Peanut Soup Recipe

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.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


  • 3 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon seeded and diced hot chile pepper
  • 4 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 tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Berbere spice mix (optional)
  • 3/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, for garnish


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Disclosure: I received a copy of The 30 Minute Vegan: Soup’s On! in order to write up this review.

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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
    July 23, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    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!

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