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African Tomato-Peanut Soup

African Tomato-Peanut Soup

Peanuts and sweet potatoes are dietary staples in many parts of Africa. This savory recipe combines them with warming spices and lycopene-rich tomatoes to make a soup that perks up the palate, nourishes the body, and warms the soul.

Flavorful and substantial, this soup pleases with its intriguing tastes and textures. Imagine stirring it with a wooden spoon as the mouth-watering aromas rise from the pot bubbling over the cooking fire. An offering of good taste and good health for those you love:


1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, with juice
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
4 1/2 cups water
Salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne (optional)
1/4 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add onion, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown. Add garlic, ginger, and spices and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Add tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Add water and salt, bring mixture to a boil, then cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer soup 30 minutes.

3. Using a blender, food processor, or hand-held immersion blender, puree the soup until nearly smooth. Add peanuts, peanut butter, and cayenne, if using, and whisk to combine thoroughly.

4. Gently reheat soup and serve hot, topped with cilantro.

Serves 6.

Read more: Food, All recipes, Soups & Salads

Inspired by Vegetarian Planet, by Didi Emmons (Harvard Common Press, 1997).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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8:01AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

No, thanks. I'm allergic.

7:13PM PDT on May 10, 2012

Ooooh...Great recipe. Thanks for posting it Annie.

1:26AM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

The recipe sounds good. Thanks.

2:03PM PDT on Mar 16, 2010

Wow, sounds so delicious!

4:25PM PDT on Sep 17, 2009

This sounds wonderful. I'd make it hotter. Fantastic recipe. Thanks!

BTW, do you know what Ethiopian Red Spice is?

3:12PM PST on Nov 12, 2008

I've been making this soup for years since I tried it at my aunt's house and had to ask for the recipe. It's easy, hearty, and healthy. Everyone likes it because of the peanut butter flavor.

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Thanks for sharing. Wish I was happier.

Omg, so cute! :)

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This is a disaster waiting to happen. :( Very bad decision.


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