West African Peanut Soup

West African Peanut Soup | SoupAddict.com

I admit it: I stalked skeptically around the concept of this West African peanut soup for several weeks before finally taking a deep breath and diving in.

Peanut butter? In soup?

Skeptical.

I love nut butters as much as the next girl, but, honestly. Peanut butter … and tomatoes. My culinary senses were reeling.

West African Peanut Soup | SoupAddict.com

A staple in many African countries, West African peanut soup, or groundnut stew, features simple, familiar ingredients in inspired combinations. I tempered my trepidation of peanut butter in soup by replacing half with almond butter. (I know, that makes absolutely no sense, the two being so similar. And I’m not sure it made a difference in the final product, but I felt better about it.)

I felt better about it, especially after I learned first-hand how addictive West African soup is. Addictive. Especially with a good dose of sriracha for seasoning. (Cayenne is more traditional, but I can’t resist sneaking in sriracha whenever and wherever.) Often made with chicken, I prepared it vegetarian (vegan, actually, and gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free to boot).

My only regret is that I waited so long to try West African peanut soup — it’s a deeply comforting soup that would’ve brightened the cold, dreary winter.

That won’t stop me from serving it over and over this spring, though.

Karen xo

West African Peanut Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, sliced into small dices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup natural almond butter (or use all peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 to 4 collard green leaves, stems removed, sliced into narrow strips
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 scallion, sliced, for garnish
  • chopped peanuts or slivered almonds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a 4 or 5 quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat until shimmering. Saute the onions and sweet potatoes until the potatoes are golden with brown edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and mix thoroughly with the vegetables. Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Increase heat to medium-high and let the soup come to a gentle boil.
  2. Spoon the nut butters into heat-proof bowl. Ladle 1 cup of the hot soup into the bowl and stir, gently at first, until the liquid combines with the nut butters, then with more vigor, until the mixture is very smooth and loose.
  3. Pour the nut butter mixture into the soup, and add the collard greens and sriracha sauce (1 tablespoon for gentle heat; 3 tablespoons for a more assertive heat). Reduce heat to medium-low, and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Ladle into bowls and garnish generously with the scallions and nuts.

Comments

  1. oh my! that does look a little strange in a compelling, obsessive compulsive kind of way. I’m in!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been looking for a good recipe for this soup for quite awhile now. I’m so excited to find this! Yea!! Love your blog. :)

  3. Chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce was my gateway into peanut soups.

    I have enjoyed all your “nut” dishes lately (hello pistachio & pasta).

    • Thanks, Cher. :) I’m all over peanut sauces in Asian cuisine … but for some reason, this soup stopped me up short (it’s basically tomato soup with peanuts – a combination I never would’ve considered in a million years). But, in retrospect, of course it would work, duh. Peanuts go with everything.

  4. Sounds delicious to me, though I love the image of you stalking around the concept. Lovely writing!
    Thanks!

  5. I did just like you back in 2006, stalking et al, when Epicurious published a less complex, more Indian-like version of this dish (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Curried-Peanut-and-Tomato-Soup-233786).
    This Epicurious soup is a snap to cook and can be made with pantry staples, although maybe it’s not as interesting as yours (which btw has gone straight on my to-cook list :). But the combination of tomato, curry and peanut butter tastes so effortless you wonder if these three were just meant to simmer together. Variations: I always use vegetable broth and often swap part of it for a cup or so of coconut milk – the very thing this fabulous trio is actually missing :)

    • Oh. my. g’uhness. You know, I was really tempted to reach for the garam masala when making this soup, but decided to stick to the intent of the West African version. But, now I’m completely taken in with the coconut milk swap and curry spices – that version is now on my *my* to-cook list. Glad you stopped by, and hope all is well :)

  6. This was so interesting, I was compelled to make it tonight. I used all peanut butter, Swiss chard and sambal Oelek, a paste version of sriracha. The soup was hearty and healthy all at the same time. It’s comforting with a great heat. It totally works! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Carla on the Top Chef All-Stars season won a challenge with this soup and I’ve been intrigued by it ever since. Unfortunately, her version that they posted on-line was pretty daunting to the home chef trying to make a weeknight dinner and so I forgot about it. Until now! You can imagine how happy I am to have found your version that seems totally doable. Thanks. Can’t wait to try it myself.

  8. Since we met, my husband has been putting peanut butter in his tomato soup. Gross, we thought..until he saw this recipe and decided to make it. Well, can I tell you, it’s hard to admit he was right. This was delicious. It’s hearty and comforting, and as you said, a little sriracha sauce kicks it up a bit. So, thanks for helping my husband to feel redeemed. ????

  9. I used to have sweetened peanut soup as breakfast, but a savoury one…wow..I am totally intrigued.

  10. That looks gooooooood! I’ve heard of this from a West Africa friend-of-a-friend years ago. I’m going to have to give it a go.

  11. I have seen many soup recipes over the years but never one with peanut butter but having said that why not. It sounds very interesting and worth a try

  12. I LOVE The Soup Addict and it pains me that my first post here is a critical one, but…this recipe should be titled West African “inspired,” because it is very different from the actual dish.

  13. Looks amazing! Will definitely try. I grew up in Thailand. Have you ever tried rice soup with chicken and fresh coriander?

  14. OMG I putting a star on my calendar that I found this site. I love love soup. The little restaurant where I often have take out soup makes a variety of African Peanut soup. Yep it does sound weird, but oh brother is it good. Thank you for the recipe.

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