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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.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

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
    marquis @realrawkitchen
    January 16, 2014 at 8:52 am

    This looks so good! I love that it’s a totally different take on soup than anything I’ve ever tried. I’ll enter the giveaway for the book but I’m pretty interested in getting it anyway 🙂

    I also have pretty distinct memories of nothing in particular. I love them because they are times in my life that I will probably one day miss. I have memories of when I first discovered juicing and how I would stand in my apartment late at night prepping all the veggies for juicing the next morning. They are actually my favorite memories of my days as a single woman! Or when I first moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) and how he would quietly eat the raw meals I would make him in a silent “support” of my lifestyle (though he was not a fan), my mushroom soup in particular .. haha I feel like I will miss those days in a few years.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 16, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      I kind of wish I had more memories of significant things (like vacations! and my wedding!), but I do think it’s kind of fun to have those oddball memories that stick with you for whatever reason. Oh, and there are some raw recipes in the cookbook too!

  • Reply
    anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    January 16, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I’ve never had peanut soup but I think I need to rectify that!

  • Reply
    Julia Mueller
    January 16, 2014 at 9:48 am

    I MUST try this soup, and I must get my hot little hands on that book! I absolutely love soup and being able to make it in t – 30 is a dream come true for me. I’m not gonna lie, I’d probably eat some sort of peanut butter and jelly grilled cheese apparatus alongside this bowl… 😉

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    January 16, 2014 at 10:03 am

    one of my friend made this for our class and ever since I have been hooked. loved the rich flavors here.

  • Reply
    Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe
    January 16, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I’m all about soups during winter months and this particular one sounds totally new to me. Can’t wait to give it a go!

    xo, Elisa

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    January 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Definitely a must try for me too.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    This soup looks fantastic for a winter night, but I’d even make it in the summer. Will have to make this so I can get out of the habit of the same old soups all the time. I think I’d even add some rice noodles and make it as the main course for dinner. Love it!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      The book suggests serving with rice or quinoa, so you might want to try that too!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Exact same thing happened to me, with the exact same soup! I had this in Maine 4 years ago and have craved it every since! Thanks soooooo much!!!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Hmm, it must be something about peanut soup then! 🙂 It IS a pretty amazing soup.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    The soup looks delicious! I’ve put the recipe on my MUST MAKE list.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve never had peanut soup but man, this sounds delicious with the sweet potato and all the spices! Plus I am always looking for quick meal ideas!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 16, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      You totally need to try it! It’s one of my favorite soups. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    oooh this looks beautiful! I made peanut soup ages ago and loved it but can’t for the life of me remember where I got the recipe. Oh well, I have a new one to try now 🙂
    I’ll have to look out for the cookbook. I still love the original 30 minute vegan one.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      I need to get the first book! I’m really loving the soup version. 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Oh, this soup looks so good! I first saw a recipe for peanut soup on Cookie & Kate, and I’ve loved the idea over since!

  • Reply
    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet
    January 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Dear Lord this soup sounds amazing!!!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I had never heard of African Peanut Soup until finding it served at a local café and it was delicious! So excited to see a recipe for it. One question, what is Berbere spice mix?

  • Reply
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen
    January 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Oh my gosh, I am definitely making this. Looks very much worth the calories!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I am craaaazy for soup this time of year and keep most of these ingredients on hand. Thanks! Pinning to my soups board.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Probably my biggest cooking flaw is that I can never seem to make anything that takes less than an hour. Definitely need to try out some of the recipes from this book! It would be perfect for when I oh so often find myself trying to cook lunch BEFORE work.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 16, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      See, I have the opposite problem–I think I have kitchen ADD and if it doesn’t take an hour or less, I get fidgety. So fidgety!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    This looks wonderful and perfect for a cold winter day. I made a peanut stew from Vegetarian Times last year that was delicious. Thanks for the reminder of this wonderful soup.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 16, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      I love peanut stew too! Well, I’m pretty much on board with anything involving peanut butter. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kira - HealthAble Old Soul
    January 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I heard African food is delicious! This will be worth it!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Wow, that looks absolutely delicious, it probably tastes good too- especially because it contains peanut butter 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 16, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      Everything tastes better with a little peanut butter, right?! 🙂

      • Reply
        January 17, 2014 at 3:41 am


  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    This soup looks delicious, and so do the pictures. I love the color of the soup; it really stands out. It’s really cold where I live, so this soup would definitely warm me up.

    I’m 18 and just started my own food blog and it’s been a fun challenge. I’m at:

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you! And good luck with your blog–I’m going to check it out right now! 🙂

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    January 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Mm mmm mmmmm! I could really get down with peanut butter in soup, or just about everything for that matter! That book looks absolutely fab.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 20, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      I already know I’m going to get a TON of use out of this book. It’s awesome!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    This looks beautiful! And Yeesssss, I know what you mean. I have no memory of what happened on what day last week but I can tell you ALL about the first time I had pesto. Sigh 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 20, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      I totally remember the weirdest things. I swear it gets worse as I get older too.

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    January 16, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    The book sounds great, especially during this time of year when it seems like all I’ve been eating is soup! I absolutely love peanut butter and sweet potatoes together; this soup looks like the perfect comfort food!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      It’s definitely soup season! 🙂 It doesn’t even get that cold here and I still want soup all the time.

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    January 16, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I had to read the recipe twice to decide if it was within my skill level. 🙂 I love soup but I always think I’ll screw it up. But after some chopping this looks majorly doable!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Oh yes, this recipe is SUPER EASY! Those are the best kinds of recipes, right?

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