peanut soup, west african

nutty and zingy vegan comfort food

I’ve seen quite a few variations of West African Peanut Soup – all delicious! I trialled-and-erred and I reckon this is how I like it best, but you’ve got to do what works for you. A recipe I saw from the New York Times said you can’t overcook the sweet potatoes or they’ll mush into the soup and make it thick…and I decided I was totally okay with thick, mushy delicious soup!


(Serves 4-6)

50g red lentils

1 brown onion

4 cloves garlic

As much chilli as you like 😉

2 sweet potatoes

1 large carrot

1 large bell pepper

1tsp Ground cayenne pepper

1tsp Smoked paprika

1tsp Curry powder

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste

2 tsp Cumin

2 tsp Tomato paste

1 can of chopped tomatoes

200ml Vegetable stock

4 heaped tbsp of natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth is fine ☺)

1 handful of corriander

Peanuts/cashews to garnish!


1. Finely chop the onion, garlic, chilli and bell pepper. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes and carrots into small chunks. Place the red lentils in a bowl with boiling water.

2. Fry the onions in a generous amount of EVOO, and when they turn translucent, add the garlic and chilli as well as the spices and Thai paste. Frying the spices this way releases their flavour☺. Once cooked, add the tomatoes and stir.

3. While that’s cooking mix hot stock (or stock cube with boiling water) with the peanut butter and tomato paste, and then add it to the soup pot.

4. Allow to cook for an hour. By this point, the flavours will have developed beautifully, and the vegetables softened. I like to pureé the soup at this stage with a handheld blender but this is totally optional! After blending, you can drain the lentils and stir them in. From now on the quality of your soup will depend on how long you cook it. So if you’re in a hurry, just another 20 mins, but if you can go another 2 hours then do it ☺☺ Just remember to check if it needs more salt!

5. To serve, chop some fresh corriander and nuts of your choice (I’ve got cashews in the pic!) and maybe some hot sauce if you’re feeling brave haha!

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