West African Peanut Soup

"A Moosewood recipe. I haven't tried it, but this is supposed to be rich and spicy. Don't skip the chopped scallions or chives!"
photo by Sharon123 photo by Sharon123
photo by Sharon123
photo by Sharon123 photo by Sharon123
Ready In:


  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh gingerroot
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 2 cups chopped sweet potatoes (up to 1 cup white potatoes can be substituted)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or 4 cups water
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped scallions or 1 cup chives


  • Saute the onions in oil until just translucent.
  • Stir in the cayenne and ginger.
  • Add the carrots and saute a couple more minutes.
  • Mix in the potatoes and stock.
  • Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • In a blender or food processor, puree the vegetables with the cooking liquid and the tomato juice.
  • Return the puree to the soup pot. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth.
  • Taste the soup. Its sweetness will depend on the sweetness of the carrots and sweet potatoes. If it is not naturally sweet, add just a little sugar to enhance the other flavors.
  • Reheat the soup gently, using a heat diffuser if needed to prevent scorching.
  • Add more water, stock, or tomato juice for a thinner soup.
  • Serve topped with plenty of chopped scallions or chives.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Really good! I especially appreciated the fact that the creaminess came from vegetables rather than a milk product. It results in a lower-calorie dish, which is great. I left the lid on for most of the cooking, as I wanted more volume in the final soup. I just used a potato masher to mash up most of the vegetables, given that I don't have a blender of any kind. I used low-salt V8 juice instead of tomato juice.
  2. Absolutely delicious, easy and cheap. I recommend using an immersion blender if you have one, it's a lot easier than dumping the soup back and forth between your blender and pot. I also top this soup with some chopped peanuts as a garnish in addition to the green onions.
  3. This is a fantastic soup and so easy to prepare. I made it as written, except for omitting the sugar. We didn't think it needed it. Thanks so much for posting.
  4. As other reviewers have already covered, this is a great recipe as is. It is also a great starting point if you like to experiment with other flavor profiles. For instance you can add a Thai curry paste, with or without a can of coconut milk, and top with Thai basil and bean sprouts for a Thai curry. (You can skip the PB or leave it in.) Or you can leave out the PB, add some Indian spices, and top with paneer or crispy tofu for a riff on Indian curry. It's a very versatile base to play with.
  5. Low calorie and amazing!! Made exactly as written but did not need the sugar.


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