June 18, 2021

Easy Vegan Recipes

Eat Vegan – Eat Well

African Peanut Soup

5 min read

Rich, creamy, and packed with flavor! Made with sweet potato chunks and hearty kale, this African peanut soup is perfect for dinner and easy to make.

Table Set with Two Bowls of African Peanut Soup, Fresh Cilantro, and Two Spoons

When I first met my husband and he found out how into cooking I was, he insisted that I had to try some west African peanut soup. When I started blogging that turned into insistence that I had to blog some African peanut soup.

That all sounded good to me, but I held off because I really wanted to try a bowl from someone who knew what they were doing first. It took a few years to find African peanut soup in the area, but I finally found a vegan restaurant in the area that made it. I tried a bowl and it was delicious! And then the restaurant closed a few months later. 🙁

So once again there was no peanut soup to be found. I guess I had to go and make my own!

How I Make West African Peanut Soup

Pot of African Peanut Soup with Wooden Spoon

There are so many ways to make African peanut soup. You can add different veggies, spices, more peanut butter, less peanut butter. My version certainly isn’t the most authentic, but I love it! Here’s how it’s made.

Start by heating up some oil in a large pot. Now add an onion and cook it for a few minutes to soften it up.

Garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamom, and a touch of cayenne pepper go in next. Toast the spices just for a minute, until the mixture becomes very fragrant.

Now you can add some broth, lots of peanut butter, tomato paste, and just a touch of maple syrup. You may need use a whisk to mix everything up. Once the mixture is pretty smooth you can add some diced sweet potato.

Let the soup simmer until the sweet potato is tender and the broth is thick and creamy.

Collage Showing Steps 1-4 for Making African Peanut Soup: Sweat Onions, Add Spices, Add Broth, Peanut Butter, and Tomato Paste, and Add Sweet Potato

Kale is the last thing to go in. You might need to add it in batches, letting each one cook down a bit before adding more. Once it’s all in, let the soup simmer until the kale is tender.

Collage Showing Steps 5 and 6 for Making African Peanut Soup

Serve your peanut soup with rice, cilantro, and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.

Two Bowls of African Peanut Soup on a Wooden Table with a Pot in the Background


Like I said, there are lots of ways to make this soup. Feel free to switch things up and make it your own! Or try one of these variations:

  • For extra rich and creamy peanut soup, increase the amount of peanut butter to a full cup.
  • For lighter peanut soup, decrease the amount to a half cup.
  • Not into kale? Try a different green! Collard greens, spinach, and chard would all work well.
  • Replace some or all of the sweet potato with chickpeas.
  • Sometimes when I make this I like to slice the sweet potato into slabs instead of chunks. When serving, I’ll place a couple of slabs in the bottom of each bowl before ladling the soup over them.

African Peanut Soup FAQ

  • How do the leftovers keep? They keep great! Just store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Is this soup gluten-free? It sure is!
  • Is there a way to make this soup peanut-free? I suspect almond butter would make a great substitute for the peanut butter, and almonds would work well in place of the peanuts.

Bowl of African Peanut Soup with Spoons on a Wooden Surface

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Table Set with Two Bowls of African Peanut Soup, Fresh Cilantro, and Two Spoons

African Peanut Soup

Rich, creamy, and packed with flavor! Made with sweet potato chunks and hearty kale, this African peanut soup is perfect for dinner and easy to make.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Servings 6

Calories 441 kcal

Author Alissa


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil oil (or high heat oil of choice)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 5 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed
  • 3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter*
  • 1 (6 ounce or 170 gram) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (plus more to taste – I sometimes use 2)
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, diced** (about 20 ounces total weight)
  • 4 cups curly kale leaves, torn into bite sized pieces (about 1 small bunch)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For Serving

  • Cooked rice
  • Roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Fresh cilantro


  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with the oil and place over medium heat.

  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sweat the onion, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.

  3. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, cardamom, and cayenne. Cook everything for about 1 minute more, until fragrant.

  4. Add the broth, peanut butter, tomato paste and maple syrup to the pot. Stir well to fully blend everything (a whisk works great here). Add the sweet potato, raise the heat, and bring the liquid to a boil.

  5. Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. You can thin the soup with some extra broth or water if it becomes too thick.

  6. Stir in the kale. You may need to add a bit at a time and let each addition wilt to make room for the next.

  7. Let the mixture continue simmering for 5 to 10 minutes, until the kale is tender and the soup is thick.

  8. Remove the pot from heat and season the soup with salt to taste. Adjust any other seasonings to your liking.

  9. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a scoop of rice, chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include accompaniments.

*To lighten the soup up a bit, use only 1/2 cup of peanut butter. For extra rich soup, use a full cup.

**As an alternative to dicing your sweet potato, try slicing it in slabs. When serving the soup, place a couple of slabs in the bottom of each bowl before ladling the soup overtop.

Nutrition Facts

African Peanut Soup

Amount Per Serving (1.5 cups)

Calories 441 Calories from Fat 181

% Daily Value*

Fat 20.1g31%

Saturated Fat 3.8g19%

Sodium 705mg29%

Potassium 1573mg45%

Carbohydrates 50.2g17%

Fiber 8.7g35%

Sugar 10.2g11%

Protein 18.9g38%

Calcium 115mg12%

Iron 7mg39%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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