Rich and spicy peanut soup is an ultra comforting and flavorful dish that everyone will love. The pantry staple ingredients make this hearty soup easy to prepare in just 30 minutes.

black bowl filled with orange peanut soup with cilantro and peanuts on top

If you don’t think sweet potatoes, peanut butter, and chickpeas go together, think again! These three and a handful of other pantry staple ingredients make up this creamy and comforting Spicy Peanut Soup. It’s so delicious over rice and can even be frozen for later!

This recipe was inspired by the ever-popular West African peanut soup (A.K.A. maafe) which is traditionally made with meat, palm oil, tomato paste, and ground nuts. My vegan version is not traditional by any means but was inspired by recipes I’ve enjoyed in the past.

The combination of creamy peanut butter, sweet potatoes, kale, chili flakes, chickpeas, and a handful of warming spices make this peanut butter soup the perfect comfort food to slurp on during chilly weather but I also enjoy it year round. Plus, it’s easy to prepare and the leftovers can be enjoyed day after day.

Just like my Lentil Soup, this vegan peanut soup has plenty of texture, vibrancy, and layers of flavor. Try it for weeknight meals or freeze the batch to enjoy later on!

close up of a bowl of orange peanut soup with cilantro and peanuts on top

How to make peanut soup

Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large soup pot until they’re translucent and fragrant. Next, add the sweet potato, cumin, chili flakes, tomato paste, broth, peanut butter, and chickpeas.

Stir everything very well until the peanut butter dissolves into the broth. Bring the soup to a boil before lowering the heat and leaving it to simmer until the potatoes have softened.

Use a large wooden spoon to mash some of the sweet potatoes against the side of the pot to help thicken the soup. Stir in the kale before covering the pot and letting it cook for another few minutes. Spoon the finished soup into bowls with brown rice, toppings, and enjoy!

4 images showing the process of making soup with sweet potatoes and peanut butter

Tips and substitutions

  • More greens – Substitute collard greens or spinach for the kale or add in all 3 for extra greens.
  • Natural peanut butter – Use natural peanut butter without any emulsifiers or added sugar for the best flavor.
  • Add vegan chicken – Cut up some Vegan Chicken and add it in instead of chickpeas if desired.
  • Peanut allergy? You could try using seed butter instead but the flavor will be different.
  • Instead of mashing the potatoes in the pot – Replace them with leftover mashed sweet potatoes you already have in the fridge.

What goes with spicy peanut soup

This hearty soup is made even more filling when it’s served with grains. Spoon some over top of brown rice, coconut rice, or quinoa. A piece of vegan naan or flatbread on the side is great for dipping.

To finish each bowl, add a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, peanuts, hot sauce, or more chili flakes on top.

Storing leftovers

Store the leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the batch in a sealable container or ziploc bag for up to 3 months.

Let the frozen soup thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat it in the microwave for a few minutes or until warmed through.

large soup pot filled with orange soup

Want more hearty vegan soups?

black bowl filled with orange peanut soup with cilantro and peanuts on top
5 stars (8 ratings)

Spicy Peanut Soup

Rich and spicy peanut soup is an ultra comforting and flavorful dish that everyone will love. The pantry staple ingredients make this hearty soup easy to prepare in just 30 minutes.
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, to taste

For serving

  • brown or white rice
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped peanuts
  • additional red chili flakes or hot sauce

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Now add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 more minute, until fragrant. Add the diced sweet potato and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the cumin, chili flakes, tomato paste, broth, peanut butter and chickpeas to the pot. Stir very well, until the tomato paste and peanut butter have mostly dissolved into the broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes have softened.
  • Once the sweet potatoes have softened, use a large wooden spoon to mash some of the sweet potatoes against the side of the pot, which will help thicken the soup.
  • Add the chopped kale, stir and cover the pot. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until the kale is tender. Taste; add more salt if needed or extra chili flakes for more spice.
  • Serve immediately with a scoop of rice, chopped cilantro, peanuts, hot sauce or more chili flakes, if desired. Enjoy!
  • Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or it can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

  1. A few shortcuts – Buy pre-chopped garlic and ginger in a jar or tube and pre-chopped kale in a bag. Cuts down on prep time a lot!
  2. May substitute vegan chicken for the chickpeas, if desired. 
  3. May substitute collard greens for the kale, if desired.
  4. I like Better Than Bouillon’s No Chicken Base for broth in this recipe. Simply follow the instructions for making broth, I believe it’s 1 teaspoon per cup of water to make broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 6 servings | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 980mg | Potassium: 1014mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 11919IU | Vitamin C: 76mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main, Soup
Cuisine: African-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Fantastic recipe! It was very VERY delicious! I will make this over and over again! And mine came out like the picture. My family was thrilled! ? Thanks again Nora! 

    1. I’m thrilled as well, that you guys loved the soup! Thanks so much for sharing your great review and comments!

  2. Wow this soup is amazing! The flavors go so nicely together and easy and quick to make. Thanks so much for sharing! 

  3. Wow, this soup is delicious! I love the different flavors in it, with the peanut butter and the seasonings. I thought it would have a strong peanut butter taste, but it doesn’t. It’s great to have protein from the garbanzo beans and peanut butter and wonderful to find another recipe that has kale in it.  I love trying your recipes and finding favorites to repeat! 

    1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful review, Lorna! I’m thrilled that you love the soup, and that you love using my recipes!

  4. Oh this was just what I felt like tonight and was sooo delicious. Creamy…peanutty and hearty. My (almost) 2 year old also couldn’t get enough of it.

    I didn’t have chili flakes so I used 1/8th tsp of chili powder and used spinach in stead of kale. I also hand blended half of the soup and poured it back in.

    Just so delicious I have been sharing your recipes with everyone. I’m not a vegan but really try and adapt more vegan cooking in my lifestyle as a way to (secretly) get my husband to eat less meat whilst having still amazing meals. Thanks to your recipes we have managed so well and my son also loves them. Win for the whole family!

    1. I’m so glad the soup was a hit, Marina! Thank you for sharing your review! I’m thrilled you are loving and sharing my recipes! I’m glad they are a help to you in planning delicious, easy, and nutritious meals for your family! Happy cooking!

  5. Just made this soup and it felt a bit lacking in heat and spice. Added 2 T tamari and 2 T chili paste and it was perfect!

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