vegan african peanut soup

by Kristina Sloggett

in Dinner,Gluten Free,recipes,Vegan

My african peanut soup has been one of my most popular recipes, in our house and with my readers! Many people have made this and love it as much as we do, and that makes me happy. I originally posted this recipe last summer, and each time I read it I want to rewrite it. Those of you who are Raising Arizona fans should enjoy it, though.

spicy African Peanut Soup

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes – adjust to your heat preference – you can always add, you can’t take away

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup peanut butter

Protein addition: 1/2 bag soy curls or 2 cups chickpeas

Rehydrate soy curls. Sauté onion. Add garlic and soy curls (or beans or preferred protein). While these cook further, add the rest of the ingredients to your slow cooker or large pot. Add protein, garlic and onions, set to low temperature for 4+ hours, high temperature for 2-3 hours.

Bread is the perfect soup vehicle.

What is your favorite soup? Are you a Raising Arizona fan? If so, please leave me your favorite quote! Mine has to be - “do these balloons blow up into funny shapes?” nope – not unless round is funny.” :D Happy Tuesday!


{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly March 15, 2011 at 4:01 am

I have never seen that movie! This reminds me of the Ellie Krieger nutty sweet potato soup, which is my absolute favorite. It’s basically a sweet potato soup with a bunch of other veggies and peanut butter. Nut butter is sooo good added to soups! :)


2 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 7:22 am

if you like Coen Brothers movies and silly fun, you should see it. I didn’t like it the first time I saw it, but I love it now. :) I may have to look for the sweet potato soup – that sounds great – is it on your blog? :)


3 Kelly March 15, 2011 at 9:26 am

I linked to it on my blog, but you can find it here –>

It’s tied for favorite with this other sweet potato soup I made which also has coconut milk


4 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Thanks, Kelly! these look GOOD… I will definitely have to try.

one of the times I made my recipe, I added WAY too much heat in peppers, so I used coconut milk to “cool” it… it tasted great!


5 Heather (Where's the Beach) March 15, 2011 at 5:30 am

I really really must try this. I don’t have the stewed tomatoes or I might make it tonight. I haven’t seen that movie in a million years.


6 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 7:14 am

Heather, I have made this with fresh tomatoes, and also canned diced – basically any tomato will work! :D


7 Lisa March 15, 2011 at 6:11 am

I love soup—and this looks great!

I don’t have a favorite, but I hardly ever follow a soup recipe. I have good intentions, but then I start dumping things in. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes not :)


8 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 7:20 am

Even with this I don’t always follow the recipe – I have made it so many times I just get started… :) in this case it always tastes good, but yep – I know what you mean, I’ve done that dumping things too… sometimes it’s hard to recover from that! :D


9 Evan Thomas March 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

Yum! I’ve been wanting to make an African peanut soup for ages but I just never find the time or people to feed it to. I’ll definitely have to give this recipe a try next time I’m with family.


10 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 7:17 am

I hope you do – it’s such a tasty soup! I know this isn’t relative to your current day to day, but it freezes well too. :)


11 Lisa March 15, 2011 at 8:45 am

You should! Once you make the recipe you’ll be hooked. I got obsessed with the ingredients and wanted to find more recipes that included curry and cashew butter. YUM.


12 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg March 15, 2011 at 7:16 am

You know, I’ve NEVER seen that movie! I need to!

This looks great!


13 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

oh, Anna, you do!! :) it’s a good one!


14 jenna March 15, 2011 at 7:37 am

i’m not a huge curry/peanuts in savory dishes fan {gasp!} but this soup looks amazing!!! I’m going to have to add this wonderful recipe to my ‘to make’ list!


15 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 8:00 am

I can say I’m generally not a curry fan at all !! this is a small amount and it works well with the other flavors… and as for peanuts… do you like other nuts, like a cashew? that would be a great flavor also!


16 Lisa March 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

Last fall I made West African Cashew Soup–with chicken and zucchini. I’m with you–every time I make the recipe I want to write about it because it’s SO DANG GOOD. YUM


17 S @ March 15, 2011 at 9:15 am

I was just standing in my kitchen thinking, “I want something with a spicy peanut flavour…” Thanks for reading my mind!


18 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm

you are VERY welcome!!


19 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty March 15, 2011 at 9:45 am

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm I make something like this and it’s SO GOOD!! :) might have to give your recipe a go!!


20 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm

do you have your version posted? I love to see all the variations out there…


21 camille March 15, 2011 at 9:53 am

Oh man, Raising Arizona has so many good quotable lines, where to start? I do love this one though:
“Rollie! You take that diaper off your head and you put it back on your sister! “


22 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm

oh YES – this is another of my favorites… I say that one all the time. also, “mind you don’t cut yerself, Mordecai” and “hit the deck” before he throws the candy. Jason’s favorite is anything that Nathan (Huffheinz) Arizona says, like “If a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump his ass a-hoppin” :D

I may have to watch this very soon…


23 Holly @ couchpotatoathlete March 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

I haven’t seen that movie in years — and I don’t know if I have seen the whole thing to be honest.

This soup looks delicious! You can’t go wrong with a recipe that calls for 1 cup peanut butter!


24 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm



25 janetha @ meals and moves March 15, 2011 at 11:12 am

Mama Pea has a recipe for a similar soup that I made once and LOVED.. I actually hae it in my freezer and totally forgot, so thanks for the reminder. Your photos are great and the soup sounds so flavorful.

Favorite soup? That’s hard. A really chunky tomato or a really veggie-filled minestrone.


26 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I LOVE when I find a frozen soup… so easy! :D I’ll have to go find Mama Pea’s, I’m sure hers is delicious!


27 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit March 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

My favorite soup… hmmm I think I’d have to say… french onion! Gosh, I should make myself that for dinner. Little bit of Daiya cheese on there… delicious! This soup looks fabulous!


28 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I love a good French onion soup… oh yum!


29 Crystal March 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm

This looks like such a delicious recipe! I’m not a soup fan, but omg the peanut butter I think might just make it all happen for me.

But I do have to say…”African soup”? As if the entire continent is homogenous… Would you happen to know more specific details?


30 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm

hi Crystal – I am actually glad you asked this!!

The first time I made this type of soup, I wondered why people call it African, or sometimes West African. After much google searching last summer, a few things I recall learning:
- peanut and peanut butter based soups are common throughout Africa (I do not know if it originated there?);
- the method used to prepare and cook the soup makes it African – broth, onion, peppers, garlic and spice, along with peanut paste or peanut butter – whereas American peanut soup or “Colonial American” peanut soup is made beginning with a roux – mirepoix and is more cream based and I do not think as spicy; (The roux + mirepoix sound more French to me!!).

I just searched again before publishing this, to see if I could find anything else – some West African versions seem to be vegetarian, while African versions generally have chicken or some protein. I saw one with fish.

Any other readers have any knowledge to add, or if I am wrong, let me know that too?? :D


31 Amy B @ Second City Randomness March 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I’m a fan of most tomato-based soups. They’re just so freakin’ comforting… mmmm


32 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm

they are… good for cheesy bread dippin’ too!


33 Biz March 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I love that soup – I’ve made it before, typically for my lunches because usually my husband and daughter say “what smells like ass?” when I make it! Nevermind them – just more for me!


34 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:06 pm

oh no!! mine always has my kitchen smelling GREAT ! :) but yeah, more for you!!


35 Mary (A Merry Life) March 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm

This makes me happy. I LOVE that movie!

The soup looks delicious. Hopefully I’ll get around to making it soon.


36 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

right?? it’s a Coen Classic. :) and YES to the soup – I hope you do too, it’s very good!


37 Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty March 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Well it’s a bit different, but this is mine
It’s SO good!!


38 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

a different spin – this looks good (except for the cilantro for me!) :D thanks for sharing!


39 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write March 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I don’t know what “Raising Arizona” is… tv, movie?

That sounds SO good. They had a vegan african peanut soup at Sip outside of the co-op Ryan and I went to the other day. Sounded amazing then and it still does!

By the by, I’m inviting (via call out on my blog) Portland readers/bloggers to get together this Saturday. Wanna?


40 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm

oh, my. you need to see this movie. ;) (okay, I don’t know if you NEED to… I don’t know your movie taste!) :) it’s a Coen Brothers movie… older… funny.

I’m glad you asked – I’ve been thinking we need to plan something soon, I wanted to give you guys time to settle! this Sat may not work for me, though, I think I’m already OVER booked – BOO


41 dave March 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm

recipe looks great, i love all varieties of african food, especially the spicy soups and stews, but mostly i am sad to see how few raising arizona quotes people have come up with. i actually did an animation project in college where i had to animate over pre-existing dialogue, and i used the following scene from raising arizona (one of the best bank heist scenes of all time):

“alright ya hayseeds, its a stick up!”

“everybody freeze… everybody get down on the ground!”

“well, which is it young feller? you want i should freeze or get down on the ground? mean to say, if’n i freeze i can’t rightly drop, and if’n i drop, i’ma gonna be in motion. ya see…”

“shut up!”


42 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Dave, you have just made Spabettie Reader of the Day – !! we say that last line all the time around here, love it!! I would have LOVED to see your animation project!!


43 dave March 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm

reader of the day?! sweet! actually just the other day i had your original quote running through my head, but all the way through to the car when john goodman also asks if they blow up into funny shapes: nah, just circular. i always thought it was a hilarious touch to make them such balloon snobs, but just stupid enough to refer to the shape of a balloon as “circular” rather than spherical, or simply just round.


44 sophia March 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Okay, I actually have this recipe bookmarked in my recipe folder for more than a year…and have yet to make it!! I was always so intrigued that there’s peanut in the soup.


45 spabettie March 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm

ha!! it’s a sign, Sophia!! you need to try it!! :D


46 Monique March 15, 2011 at 5:38 pm

This sounds delicious! I’m trying to make soups/foods from different cultures this week. It’s so fun :)


47 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I saw that – what a fun project!


48 Kristina March 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm

i’ve always loved tomato basil-and that’s what this looked like so it caught my eye…I love jam packed flavorful soup that you don’t mind it being your meal….total satisfaction! This looks amazing.


49 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 2:03 pm

thanks, Kristina! ha… it DOES look like a tomato basil… which I LOVE too… YUM


50 Kath (My Funny Little Life) March 15, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Okay, I knew it – this would be dangerous. Not for me, but rather for my laptop, because I’m drooling into my keyboard *again* as I type this. Would think I would ever drool so much over a vegan recipe???? And damn how do you make all your dishes look *that* good?! :D


51 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

hee! I *LOVE* when people say that about what I make… then are SHOCKED when it’s vegan! I guess it’s fun to shock people with flavor! :D


52 Kath (My Funny Little Life) March 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Hahaha, yes! It’s just that I never try to veganize or even vegetarianize any recipe on purpose. But, apart from my two servings of chicken / fish / seafood and the little butter I have every day, evering else I eat it absolutely vegan. ;)


53 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm

baaaaa haaa… now THAT is funny! ;)


54 Heather (Perspective Is Everything) March 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Raising Arizona is one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time!!
Hubby and I love it so much.
My two favorite quotes are when the dad is being interviewed after the baby is stolen and the cops ask him to describe his pajamas…he says, “they have yodas and s*!t on ‘em”
The other fave quote is “We got ourselves a family here!” Hubby and I always say that when we’re always just sittin around content and admiring the kids and pets.

Anyway-fave soup is cashew carrot curry :)


55 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Jason and I love it too, and quote it constantly! and ESPECIALLY THOSE TWO you mentioned!! we say the “family” one all the time!! :D I also say variations of “relaxing with the family unit” !!


56 Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking March 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Oh this looks and sounds really good!! I love the color of this soup!


57 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm

thank you Alicia! I love vibrant and bright food! :)


58 (what runs) Lori March 16, 2011 at 9:22 am

What beautiful and colorful vibrant photos! I’m making this tonight! Sold.


59 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm

oh GOOD ! you’re going to love it!! please let me know how much! ;)


60 (what runs) Lori March 16, 2011 at 9:23 am

Do you edit your photos? Photoshop? What’s your secret? ;)


61 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

ha. you’re going to love this one… I edit in iPhoto. so, basically nothing! Jason once downloaded me a trial for photoshop, but I was too intimidated to use it! :D


62 Christin@purplebirdblog March 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I am ashamed to say I’ve never seen Raising Arizona despite all the wonderful things I’ve heard about it! And ooohhhhh my, that soup looks and sounds perfect!


63 spabettie March 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

GIRL !! go rent that movie!! :D


64 Nancy Coffin March 17, 2011 at 9:50 am

My two favorite things, African peanut stews and Raising Arizona!
Thanks for the recipe, there are similar ones in Sundays at Moosewood and I always loved them!

Raising Arizona: Name’s Smalls. Leonard Smalls. My friends call me Lenny… only I ain’t got no friends.


65 spabettie March 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm

hi Nancy!! I hope you try this one, I kinda like it :) and thanks for the quote – it’s SO fun reading those commenters who shared them!! :D


66 Heather @ kissmybroccoli March 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm

This looks so good! I tried Mama Pea’s recipe a few months ago and that was the first time I’d ever had this kind of soup.

I love pretty much any kind of soup, though I’m not a huge fan of purees. I like to have a little substance when I sit down to a bowl!

Love Raising Arizona! I haven’t seen that movie in ages! My family and I pull out the “turn to your left” when we get to talking movie quotes!


67 spabettie March 20, 2011 at 11:08 pm

haaaa!! we say turn to the left all the time! :) it’s such a great movie!!

I love soup, even purees… I can understand the need for “more” though – I have to have bread dippers at least!!


68 Erin March 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I made this soup and I have to say, this is a keeper! It was easy to make and so satisfying and delicious. I’ve been looking for an African Peanut Soup recipe for over 10 years, trying to match it up to one I had in SF a long time ago. I finally found it, hurray! My favorite part? I can practically make this anytime since it uses mostly pantry ingredients (just need to keep soy curls in my cabinet now!). I made a few adjustments for my taste: 1 1/2 teaspoons of hot pepper flakes instead of 3, and lots of onion and garlic. Thanks so much for posting the recipe and photos. Having a great recipe like this in my cooking arsenal means a lot to me. :-)


69 spabettie March 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Hi Erin!! thank you SO much for the feedback!! yes – I think that’s why it’s a favorite too… pretty easy ingredients, and when you can, add fresh! did you use soy curls? not everyone has been able to find them…

again, thank YOU for letting me know… comments like yours mean a lot to me! have a great week!


70 Erin March 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

I used Soy Curls and got them at Bob’s Redi Mill. I think they also have them at Food Fight.

My husband and I are so in love with the soup (5-year-old will have nothing to do with it, nothing unusual there), that we’re going to make it again as soon as I can get another bag of soy curls. He practically wept when it was gone!

This is really the best recipe I’ve tried in a long time. And I try a LOT of new recipes… I get cookbooks from the library, and subscribe to Vegetarian Times and Everyday Food. This recipe belongs on the cover of one of those magazines!


71 spabettie March 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

oh, wow… are you in Portland? (forgive me if I knew this…) :) yes, Food Fight has soy curls in BULK !! which is nice… thank you SO much, once again, for your awesome words about this soup… when I first made it, I was literally sautéing and adding things to the slow cooker… tasting, adding, tasting… I had to make it again to write a recipe!! :) it has been one of the more popular recipes, one that is made most often by my readers… makes me SO happy that it is out there and being enjoyed!!

oh gosh, to be on the cover of Vegetarian Times… or featured inside… a dream!!


72 Erin March 30, 2011 at 10:38 am

Oops, that’s Bob’s RED Mill.


73 Winnie April 20, 2011 at 4:22 am

I love African peanut soup! Have not made it in forever…yours looks SO good!


74 spabettie April 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm

thank you, Winnie! it is a favorite around here, and definitely one of my recipes that is most made by others! :D


75 Melissa October 23, 2011 at 8:18 am

this sounds good, I had a peanut soup once at a restaurant and have thought about it since! I will be trying this. I love Raising Arizona, too funny. I need to watch it again, maybe when I make the soup! :)


76 Tandy November 1, 2011 at 8:20 am

this is perfect for winter (came here via Forgotten Beast)!


77 spabettie November 1, 2011 at 8:27 am

hi, Tandy! glad you came by and said hello… you’ll have to let me know if you try this – it is one of our favorite soups! Cheers!


78 Kelsey November 8, 2011 at 2:48 am

if I cant find the soy curls, what would be a good substitute? this looks very good and I am planning to make it this week. thank you,


79 spabettie November 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I have used beans (pinto, chickpea) in place of the soy curls for a protein and the result is the same! I hope you enjoy, Kelsey!


80 Max November 14, 2011 at 6:23 am

this is SO good, we have made it twice now, thank you!!


81 Rich November 17, 2011 at 8:29 am

wanted to inform you this was the supper from last night, splendid! I will encourage others to visit here and make this, as it will frequently grace our table now. exceptionally flavored, I love the strong peanut flavor! well done, thank you!


82 spabettie November 20, 2011 at 10:51 am

I’m glad you enjoyed, Rich! I do think I add a lot of peanut flavor, I like it as well. Cheers!


83 Bob January 15, 2012 at 9:56 am


Is your African Peanut Soup a crock pot recipe?


84 Shadé January 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Yummmmmm!!!! I came across your recipe today…had most of the ingredients on hand so I decided to try it…best idea I’ve had all week lol!

My blog is a work in progress, but it will be highlighting the best vegan recipes on the web…this one definitely makes the cut…thanks!


85 spabettie January 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

hello Shadé – so happy you found this and love it. it is still one of our favorites around here, and this time of year I make it a lot. :) I’ll check back to see your progress, welcome to the blog world!


86 Lynn February 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

made this over the weekend, deeeelicious! :)


87 Kathie February 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

making more of this today, it is bitter cold and I need a favorite spabettie warm up! our family LOVES your soup!


88 john February 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

made this for dinner today, enough for the rest of the week, which I am thankful for as it is GOOOOOOOD! lol


89 spabettie February 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

so happy you like it, John!


90 Tori February 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I am making this again this weekend, we love this soup!!


91 spabettie February 23, 2012 at 10:01 am

I am so happy to hear that, Tori! it’s definitely one of our favorites too!


92 Chandra February 25, 2012 at 11:31 am

why do you call this African?


93 Susan G March 28, 2012 at 10:36 am

I finally made this soup and have to thank you, it is so good! I know it will be a repeat in our house!


94 Grandma Wrinkles April 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

here I am making my favorite spabettie recipe again, just had to say hello. we love this too much!



95 Socks April 21, 2012 at 4:01 am

Sounds simple but yummy! Will try soon (before the hot weather hits). Luckily, the ingredients aren’t expensive because, “…the government sure do take a bite, don’t they?!” ;D


96 spabettie April 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

haa, Socks, this comment just made my day!! :D


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: