West African Peanut Soup is classic Soul Food. Peanuts and yams are two ingredients that were brought from Africa on the slave ships and were used extensively in early colonial cooking. I always serve Soul Food on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and this soup is on my menu this year; it’s also a great soup to serve as part of your Kwanza celebration.
You’ll find that this delicious peanut soup is substantial as is, but can be made into a hearty main meal with the addition of shredded cooked chicken. If I happen to have leftover rice, I stir in a cup or two of that also. For a vegetarian version, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
To save time on this soup, I coarsely chop the vegetables in the food processor; they cook much faster when they are in smaller pieces. The soup can be made in about 30 minutes, which makes it suitable for a weeknight. However, it can also be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.
West African Peanut Soup
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped onions
2 pounds yams, coarsely chopped (7-8 cups)
9 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, more or less to taste
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
Chopped fresh parsley
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot.
- Add the celery, onions, and yams.
- Let the mixture cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Turn the soup down to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
- Whisk in the peanut butter, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.
- Transfer the mixture, in batches, to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Pour the blended soup back into to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Serve garnished with the chopped peanuts and parsley.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 365 Calories from Fat 200
Percent Total Calories From:
Fat 55% Protein 12% Carb. 33%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 1494 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 11 g
Vitamin A 112% Vitamin C 18% Calcium 0% Iron 8%