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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 Soupโ€™s On! by Mark Reinfeld.ย  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2013. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com

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


  • 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 sautรฉ 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
    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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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?

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Oh I love savory dishes with peanut butter! This soup looks delicious and I have all of the ingredients except for the Berbere spice mix. I could make this this weekend. Thanks for sharing!!

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

      I made it without the spice mix and it was still delicious, so you could definitely omit that! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    January 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    This is my kind of soup – something that’s filling enough to be a meal on its own, and the combination of peanut butter with sweet potato and spices always works for me! I also like when a soup is thick enough to hold toppings like peanuts without them disappearing down to the bottom of the bowl!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Yes, soups are normally one of my least favorite things to photograph, but this one was a breeze since everything stayed put! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    January 19, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I can’t wait to make this!! I LOVE making soups. Thanks so much for posting.

  • Reply
    Julie hennessey
    January 19, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Absolutely delicious !!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    January 21, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Even the picture looks fragrant! I need more soup recipes in my repertoire during the winter months.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 22, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Do you have soup weather in Texas?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    January 23, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Ooh I remember the first time I saw peanut soup and it looked irresistible!! I am in love with the fact that this uses peanut butter AND sweet potatoes in the base! And I had to laugh at the first line of your post because I was trying so hard to remember what I ate for lunch yesterday…but of course I could remember exactly what I put in the banana cake I made last week. Thanks, brain.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Our brains betray us! I totally remember the most bizarre things, but important things like pin numbers and passwords, nope. Why does that happen?!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    This was really good. My husband loved it. I found a recipe to make my own Berbere spice mix. I can’t wait to have leftovers!!!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I assumed this was a blended soup but I didn’t see that anywhere in the instructions. Checking to make sure you’re not supposed to blend it to make it creamy.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 24, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      It’s creamy from the coconut milk and peanut butter; it doesn’t need to be blended.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Just looking over the recipe and pictures of the soup…it looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Tracy McInally
    February 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    do you have to puree the mixture to ensure sweet potatoes get mixed in? seems a little chunky putting into the pot for soup

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      February 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      No, it’s not meant to be a pureed soup; there are pieces of sweet potatoes and tomatoes in it.

  • Reply
    July 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I love this recipe! I’ve blended it and just left it a little chunky and both are great! Wonderful and easy recipe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      July 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks for your comment – I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    July 23, 2014 at 1:26 am

    I’m making this tomorrow! The sweet potato and peanut butter combination reminds me of the times when I used to put PB on baked sweet potato instead of butter and how awesome it was. So I’m looking forward to this ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      July 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      It’s such a good combination, isn’t it?! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    August 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    This was the first soup that I have ever made and it was fantastic recipe. I absolutely loved the soup!! Thank you for posting this ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    November 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    This soup was delicious!!! I had to cook it longer because the sweet potatoes were taking a while but it was worth it. I added coriander and left out the celery. Even my non-vegan parents loved it! This is definitely a must-make!

  • Reply
    aimรจe artigliere
    November 22, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Delicious! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Aimรจe Artigliere
    December 6, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Delicious! Now a family favorite. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    June Burns
    January 11, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Wow that looks incredible! So creamy and flavorful, mmmm ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Millie | Add A Little
    January 11, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Looks super tasty and comforting! Yum!

  • Reply
    Alexa [fooduzzi.com]
    January 11, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Goodness…this sounds insanely comforting! With this crazy cold weather we’re having, I will be sure to give this a try! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Lori @ RecipeGirl
    January 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    This looks so comforting and delicious! Totally my kind of soup!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Mmm mmm mmm can’t wait to make this heart warming soup. I can just imagine the warmth from the heat and the silkiness from the coconut milk and peanuts gliding down my tongue and throat.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Any thoughts on using a powdered peanut butter to ease up on the fat calories? I bought a jar, but I haven’t used it yet.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      I use powdered peanut butter in smoothies, but I’ve never cooked with it. My guess would be that it would work, but the soup would be a little thinner. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Did you use regular peanut butter for this or the natural, unsweetened, non-hydrogenated peanut butter? I used the natural stuff and felt like my soup lacked a little sweetness. Will try with regular peanut butter next time.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    This is amazing! Enjoying a bowl of it now.

    Thanks for the fantastic recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

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