This spicy and creamy West African inspired vegan peanut soup is surprisingly easy, with fresh ginger and garlic alongside plenty of peanut butter, canned tomatoes, and spices making up the broth. Filled with pumpkin, chickpeas, and greens, it’s a healthy, easy, and delicious.
This is the second post in my December giveaway series – I shared the first yesterday and the series will end on December 8th.
We always have peanut butter in the fridge, and Graham easily goes through a jar a week. I more often use it in sweet recipes, like peanut butter cookies – obviously – and sometimes in noodle bowls or pad thai. Peanut butter is definitely a pantry staple though, right? This recipe is maybe not the most festive, but it is absolutely perfect for this time of year and the autumn/winter seasons.
This African peanut soup relies mostly on pantry staples. Peanut butter, of course, with canned tomatoes, chickpeas, ginger, garlic, a couple simple spices, and vegetables. I really like it with pumpkin, and it’s also a lot cheaper for me most of the time than sweet potatoes, but you could definitely sub sweet potato or even carrots. Same with the greens. The recipe calls for rucola but you can use any kind of hardier green – chard, (frozen) spinach, kale, and so on. As long as you keep the base recipe you can mix it up a bit with your veggies.
I like to use hokkaido pumpkins, which are the most popular here, but you also don’t need to peel them. If you can find a variety of pumpkin/winter squash that doesn’t need to be peeled, it helps cut down the prep time a lot. I also never peel organic sweet potatoes because the skin is super healthy and it’s also just fiddly work, and I don’t really want to bother with it. So if you can do that, all you have to chop here is onion, pumpkin, ginger, and garlic. The soup simmers for about 15 minutes, so you’re looking at less than half an hour total kitchen time.
If you or someone in your family has a peanut allergy, you can still make this! Just sub sunflower butter instead, it’ll still taste great. Almond butter is another great alternative but I would avoid the naturally very sweet options like hazelnut and cashew. Originally I had thought to make this with coconut milk but wanted to keep it more budget friendly, so I left it out. You definitely don’t miss it! The peanut butter adds so much creaminess and richness, it’s amazing.
Maybe you’re looking at this and thinking an African peanut soup seems a little strange or like you’ll have to go to a special store to get the ingredients. Nope. I’d say this is 100% as easy and accessible as my red lentil spinach soup, and that was developed specifically as a pantry friendly recipe. I also love love love that this is creamy without coconut milk or cashews! I love creamy, curry-like soups, but coconut milk costs €2 a can and it’s just a bit too pricey for everyday use. Plus, using peanut butter adds a bigger hit of protein and fills you right up.
So this peanut soup has become a new staple, because I do almost always have some variation of the ingredients needed, and I think many of you do too. If you love spice, go heavy on the garlic and ginger, they’re what really lift the soup. You don’t even need to add an acidic component to this apart from the tomatoes. If your tomatoes are really sweet and you feel like the soup tastes a bit flat, add a squeeze of lemon once it’s done cooking. And the amount of vegetable stock isn’t a typo, if you add more it’ll be too watered down.
West African Peanut Soup with Pumpkin and Chickpeas
This spicy and creamy West African inspired vegan peanut soup is surprisingly easy, with fresh ginger and garlic alongside plenty of peanut butter, canned tomatoes, and spices making up the broth. Filled with pumpkin, chickpeas, and greens, it's a healthy, easy, and delicious.
- 1 teaspoon avocado or other cooking oil
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb ginger, minced
- 1/2 of a small pumpkin, cut into 3cm chunks*
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- 80 grams / 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 can / 400 grams diced tomatoes
- 500 ml / 2 cups vegetable stock
- 300 grams / 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas**
- 70 grams / 2 cups rucola or other greens
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium. Once the pot is hot, add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, or until softened. Stir in the pumpkin and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spices, and stir to coat the pumpkin, cooking for another 30 seconds.
Stir in the peanut butter, then add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, and chickpeas. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the rucola. Taste and season as necessary, adding more salt and lemon (see above) if needed. Serve immediately, with optional chopped peanuts.
• The soup is great served over brown rice or quinoa if you want to make it even more filling.
* This should be about 400 grams, or around 3 cups chopped.
** Canned chickpeas work just as well. If you use canned, just toss a regular sized can in (rinse first). I'm not sure how much that is but it should be about the same amount.