African Peanut Soup (Good for the Soul)

Okay, I’ve been really sick for the better part of two weeks. (I know, I know—“It’s going around!”)

Anyway, the other day, all I wanted was soup. In that moment, I was too lazy (lethargic, tired, zombie-like) to make my own, so I wandered into New Seasons to buy some to-go. What I tried there changed my life. Okay, that’s maybe an understatement – but the soup was really, really good!

It was subtly spicy with a hearty peanut taste. It was warm to the soul. It was African Peanut Soup. I had never even heard of it before.

A few days after the New Seasons experience, I started researching traditional recipes for African Peanut Soup. I will tell you, if you haven’t had it before, some of the ingredients will seem juxtaposing (like peanut butter combined with tomato paste) but seriously this is really good stuff.


What You’ll Need:

  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO, Avocado oil, or peanut oil
  • 1 ½ medium red onion(s) peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 sweet potato, steamed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup unsalted organic peanut butter (look for PB without added sugar)
  • ¾ cup organic tomato paste
  • 2 bunches collard greens or kale (ribs removed) and chopped into 1-inch pieces (or smaller for your preference)
  • Garnish: ½ cup unsalted peanuts, brown rice
  • Sriracha or hot sauce (optional)


The Method:

  1. First, boil the sweet potatoes. Fill a medium boiling pot half full (just enough water to cover sweet potatoes resting on the bottom). Add in a pinch of salt. Bring water to boil, then and add sweet potatoes.
  2. Cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes (over high heat) or until just tender on the outside but resistant in the center. When sweet potatoes are finished, cool them, and carefully peel each one. Then, chop into small cubes and set aside.
  3. Second, make the peanut paste. In a food processor or blender, combine peanut butter, tomato paste, and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Pulse until thoroughly mixed and a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
  4. Finally, make your soup! Coat a medium stockpot or Dutch oven with 1 tbsp. oil of your choice. Add in finely chopped onions and sauté for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add in garlic and ginger. Then pour in remaining 5 cups of vegetable broth. (Be careful! It’ll steam when you do this.) Bring to a low boil.
    Slowly pour the peanut paste mixture into the boiling soup, then carefully add in sweet potatoes. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to allow flavors to immerse.
  5. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or another grain of choice. Top with peanuts and spice up with hot sauce—such as siracha—(if that’s your thing!) .
    Because of the collared greens in this recipe, it's best to consume within 2-3 days of preparing. 
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Tiffany Kent