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African Peanut Soup – Our veggie take on a classic

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African Peanut Soup is served in the bowl on the white towel with tablespoon | Hurry The Food Up

I know the combination of peanut butter and tomato paste might scandalize some of you but this African Peanut Soup is here to prove you wrong.

The best argument we can give you is that this recipe has become one of our absolute favourites, since we first published it back in 2014.

When we first came up with this recipe, our chef Hauke gave up friends, free-time, and perhaps even a little bit of sanity for a week – to create (drumroll please)… a vegan soup with peanut butter!

And put simply, it’s absolutely AMAZING.

The combination of peanut, ginger, garlic and tomato paste is just fantastic, and needs to be tried to be believed. Give this one a go and you’ll have a vegan soup recipe for life.

Why is it named ‘African’ peanut soup?

Well, this recipe is loosely based on a peanut soup recipe from West Africa, sometimes called maafe, groundnut soup, or West African peanut soup.

There are variations to be found throughout West Africa from Senegal to Mali to Nigeria, and all have their own twist. Regardless of those differences, it’s an important cultural staple from this region of Africa.

Our recipe is not, strictly speaking, the same as traditional groundnut soup, particularly those that include a form of meat.

BUT it does combine those same flavors of tomatoes and peanut butter. And both are served on a bed of rice, giving the recipe a similar feel.

I have to say thank you to the people in West Africa that came up with the combination of flavors this african peanut soup (or groundnut soup) recipe so delicious.

Soup is ready for eating | Hurry The Food Up

Vitamin Central

In order to make our blog, as well as being delicious, recipes have to be both fast and healthy.

And this african peanut soup recipe is no slouch – it takes twenty five minutes from start to finish, and is most certainly good for body and mind.

The ‘A’ in vitamin A might as well stand for ‘awesome’. Not only does Vitamin A help you see important things in the dark (like peanut soup), it’s also used to stimulate white blood cell growth, to remodel bone and regulate cell growth and division.

One serving contains 96% of your GDA of Vitamin A and packs a whole heck of a lot of protein in too, making this a high protein soup recipe (which can be tough to find – unless you’ve seen our top 50 vegetarian protein soups!).

How to make soup, specifically peanut soup

Does it matter what type of peanut butter I use?

The choice between crunchy or smooth peanut butter is up to you, but you should stick to a natural peanut butter (i.e. the ones without added ingredients) for the best results.

How should this soup be stored?

It should keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, but it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just pop it in a tupperware and thaw it out on your next cold winter day.

Don’t freeze the soup with rice though, make a fresh batch when you defrost it.

Can I add different veggies?

For sure! We like our soup with zucchini (or courgette), but traditional recipes tend to include collard greens. The recipe is simple enough that swapping out some veggies is no biggie (btw if this kind of flexibility is what you need, try these vegetarian recipes for beginners too!)

Honestly, this is a pretty flexible recipe that you can tweak to fit your tastes.

If you’re looking for more easy vegan soups after you fall in love with this african peanut soup, check out our creamy butternut squash soup, our flavour packed corn soup, or our cozy lentil soup.

What our readers are saying

Made this for dinner tonight with brown rice and roasted string beans on the side. So good. I’m a new vegan and I’ve been wanting a peanut recipe… I GOT IT!

Fatimah Shabazz⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have been making this soup using your recipe for awhile now and my family and I love it. I usually have chicken broth on hand and that is what I use most of the time. I have not tried adding additional veggies but I do add a whole zucchini and onion but the carrots I put into the food processor and I love the taste and texture it gives to the soup. Thank you for sharing this terrific recipe!!

Windy Lim⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Just made this. Absolutely delicious, and really easy and quick to put together. A wonderful, warm & spicy meal for a cold winter night. Great way to use low-cost (yet nutritious) ingredients like carrots and peanut butter. I’ve hesitated to make peanut soup before because most recipes are so rich from large quantities of peanut butter, but this called for less peanut butter and suggestion to serve it over rice thins it out, very good idea.
I made this with three grated, peeled carrots and a whole large zucchini and it could have probably stood even more vegetables so don’t hold back on the produce. Topped it off with sriracha. Yum!

Carrie⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
African Peanut Soup
4.70 from 39 votes
Healthy African peanut soup with rice, based on a traditional West African recipe that’s packed with protein, vitamins and, best of all, flavour.
Cuisine:African
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, vegan
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes
Servings:3
Calories:517kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prepare the brown rice according to package instructions.
    1 cup brown rice
  • In a pot add the red lentils, vegetable broth and water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to low-medium heat.
    2 cups vegetable broth, 1 cup water, ⅓ cup red lentils, dried
  • Cut the onion, carrot and courgette and add them to the broth.
    ½ red onion, 1 small carrot, ½ medium zucchini
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the broth as well.
    1 clove garlic, 0.2 inches ginger, fresh
  • Add the peanuts.
    3 tbsp peanuts
  • Add the nutritional yeast, tomato paste and peanut butter to the mixture.
    3 tbsp tomato paste, 3 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Add the soy sauce last but check it’s not already too salty.
    1 tbsp soy sauce
  • If you like it spicy add the hot sauce.
    A few dashes hot sauce
  • Let it simmer nicely until the rice is ready.
  • Serve in a bowl, eat. Yum!
    African Peanut Soup is ready| hurrythefoodup.com

NOTES

Use whatever veggies you have left. Who knows what fantastic flavours you might discover?
Taste test first! If your broth and peanut butter is already salty enough then I’d leave out the soy sauce.
Tip: this dish has 3 servings by default. You can easily freeze the spare serving.
Make-ahead? Yes, absolutely.
Inspired by: Chefkoch, Cookie and Kate

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
African Peanut Soup
Amount per Serving
Calories
517
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
16
g
25
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Sodium
 
1116
mg
49
%
Potassium
 
971
mg
28
%
Carbohydrates
 
78
g
26
%
Fiber
 
13
g
54
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Protein
 
21
g
42
%
Vitamin A
 
3436
IU
69
%
Vitamin C
 
13
mg
16
%
Calcium
 
77
mg
8
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Comments

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Recipe Rating




58 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Found this recipe right around when I first became vegan in 2016. Have made it a number of times since then and it’s delicious! It had been a while since I’d made it and I had the end of a jar of peanut butter to use, so I thought of this recipe and figured I’d add some red lentils because I’ve been trying to be more conscientious of including protein sources. Looks like you beat me to it since they’re here now! Pulled out my old printed version to make sure I wasn’t just misremembering them not being there before lol and I see that they are a newer addition. They work very well in there! Makes it into a thicker stew vs a soup but especially with the rice it’s great as a stew. I sauté the aromatics and veggies before adding broth to bring out their flavors more, and probably use a bit more carrot and zucchini than called for, but it’s a great recipe! Easy enough to make and very delicious!

    1. Hi Aubrey, haa wow!! Yeees, we’re ever evolving our recipes. It’s funny that you noticed. Even funnier we had the same idea! 🙂 I agree, those lentils are a wonderful addition, especially for protein 🙂

  2. It says to use natural peanut butter and in brackets (i.e. the ones with added ingredients). Is that right? As soon as I have your reply, I’ll give it a try. Thanks

    1. Yes, natural peanut butter is the right choice here (100% peanuts). You can use peanut butter with the added ingredients as well. Tastes nice, less healthy 🙂

  3. I love your recipes!!! I have had success with the ones I have tried.

    I am allergic to peanuts. Can I use almond butter or. cashew butter instead?

    I know it won’t be authentic, but I really don’t fancy a trip to hospital and a Benadryl drip……

    1. Thank you Bunny! Yes, I’m sure it will still be very tasty. And definitely better than a trip to the hospital! Enjoy!

  4. This sounds like a really yummy soup. Any suggestions what could be substituted for the tomato paste without losing flavour as I am avoiding all nightshades? Thanks. 🙂
    ps. Love the recipes, keep them coming please…

    1. Hi PJ! Oof, that’s a tough one! My first thought is a curry paste – rather an Asian style and not Indian, as the flavours would probably go better with the peanuts. You might also be able to get away with skipping it entirely or trying something like kecap manis, which gives more soy sauce-like flavour with added sweetness. And thank you, very kind of you to say! Will do 🙂

      1. Thank you Dave and Sophie for the great suggestions, will give them a go!

    2. Maybe a little vinegar for acidity, along with Dave’s suggestions?

      1. I like it, Sophie! Thanks 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for this recipe. I made it for me and my husband last night and it became an immediate favourite. I’m going to make it again tonight.

    1. Hoorah! That’s awesome, Sophie, thank you! Enjoy it again 🙂