This recipe is adapted from Melissa, a family friend and blogger over at The Traveler’s Lunchbox, and she adapted it originally from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen. Melissa suggests adding in anything that you want, including sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cabbage, eggplant, corn and green beans. She also says that the flavor really improves with age, so this is a great one to make ahead of time. We made this for my mom’s birthday, and it was a huge hit, even with my hard-to-please, carnivorous dad!

West African Peanut Soup

  • Servings: Makes 4 Servings
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Each Serving Contains:

  • 10 oz Veggies
  • 1 Protein Serving
  • 1 Fat Serving


Veggie Serving

  • 3-4 fresh jalapeños, seeded and minced, or 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 (15-oz) cans crushed or diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 large carrots, sliced

Protein Serving

  • 8 oz (1 cup) smooth natural peanut butter (4 protein servings)

Fat Serving

  • 8 oz (1 cup) light coconut milk (2 fat servings) 
    • Substitute 4 oz regular coconut milk or 2 oz coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 fat servings)

Condiments & Spices

  • Cayenne pepper or garlic chili paste, to heat preference
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • About 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Handful chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

Maintenance Modifications

  • Grain Additions: cooked rice or millet for serving
  • Protein Additions: Add more peanut butter or peanuts.
  • Fat Additions: Add more peanut butter or peanuts.


  1. In a large, heavy pot warm the oil over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, jalapeños or green pepper and cilantro stems. Cook until the onion has softened and turned golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the carrots, cayenne and curry powder, and fry until the spices are fragrant, about a minute more.
  2. Add the stock and tomatoes, including all their juices. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let cook gently until the carrots are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk and spinach and continue cooking until the spinach is soft and the soup has thickened, about another ten minutes. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve hot alongside the cooked grain of your choice, garnished with chopped cilantro and peanuts (optional)

For some tips on weighing soups, check out this post: Weighing Soups & Mixed Category Dishes