African Peanut Soup


Makes 4 servings

2½ - 3 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 large leak with 2 inches of the greens, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium tomato (about 8oz), roughly chopped
1 medium yam (about 5oz), not peeled, but finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon oil or butter
2 chicken thighs (or legs, or breasts, or some backs), skinned
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter, preferrably a brand that includes the red skins
salt to taste

Special equipment

food processor


Simmer the onion, leak, carrots, tomato, yam, garlic and oil in 1 cup of the broth over medium high heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and whirr in the food processor. Don’t over-process, the soup should not be super-smooth.

Add the chicken, the red pepper flakes, another cup of the broth, and simmer over medium heat another 20 minutes. Remove chicken and dice. Discard the bones and return the meat to the pot.

In a separate bowl, mix the peanut butter with the remaining broth until smooth. Then add to soup with salt, and simmer 5 minutes.

While you could serve the soup now, repeated testing has proven that it’s much better left to rest overnight in the fridge to give the flavours time to blend and reheat before serving.


You could simplify by cooking the yam in the first round (nor would you have to dice it so finely), but we wanted a texture different from our Mulligatawny. Recipe is loosely based on one from the old Time-Life Foods of the World series.


You can easily render this vegan by using vegetable broth and omitting the chicken.

Some source recipes call for rice in peanut soup. How common is rice in East African cuisine? Maybe it’s the influence of the Asian subcontinent. Again, we use yams purely to differentiate it from the Mulligatawny.