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.

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


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

No, thanks. I'm allergic.

John B.
John B5 years ago

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

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago

The recipe sounds good. Thanks.

Mervi R.
Mervi R7 years ago

Wow, sounds so delicious!

Patrice J.
Patrice J8 years ago

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

BTW, do you know what Ethiopian Red Spice is?

Christine Y.
Christine Y9 years ago

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.