Vegetarian Peanut Soup

I know that peanut butter, tomatoes and collard greens may seem like an unlikely combination, but I hope you’ll trust me on this one. This homely soup is good—so good that I’m almost tempted to:

  1. Put on my big puffy coat.
  2. Shovel my car out from under 10 inches of snow.
  3. Drive to the store for collard greens so I can make more soup.


sliced red onion

My most attractive man gave me permission to share this recipe. He’s an excellent cook (jackpot!) who prefers to use his intuition over a recipe book. This dish comes from one of his two volumes, Local Bounty, a weird vegan cookbook without any pictures. With the author’s headnote, “Of all the soups we serve in my restaurant, this one is by far the most popular,” and his endorsement, I trusted that this soup was a safe bet.

If you enjoy this dish, be sure to check out my cookbook’s updated peanut soup recipe with sweet potatoes and chickpeas.


We tasted the soup with a variety of hot sauces (none of which were African) and came to the conclusion that sriracha was the best. It delivers the perfect amount of heat.

A creamy, nourishing soup cooked with staple pantry items, herbs, and greens is the end product. It doesn’t require much preparation, and the addition of the spicy sauce reduces the quantity of ingredients needed, making it the ideal meal for chilly days and idle weeknights.

This soup was originally referred to as “West African Peanut Soup.” Although it draws inspiration from West African peanut soups, it is far from being an exact replica. According to what I’ve been informed, real recipes don’t call for collard greens and, among other things, I think they frequently include meat.

Since I’m a vegetarian, this recipe could be the closest thing I’ll ever eat to the original meal, and I adore it for all the reasons listed above. I hope you adore it too, whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or adhere to any diet under the sun!

peanut butter and collard greens

peanut butter and tomato paste

Also read: Redeeming Green Soup with Lemon and Cayenne


  • 2 cups of water and 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 chopped medium red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly minced and peeled ginger
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 salt shakerful
  • 1 bunch sliced into 1-inch strips, with the ribs removed, of collard greens (or kale).
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 12 cup of tomato paste
  • * Spicy condiments like sriracha (AKA rooster sauce)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts for decoration
  • Brown rice cooked and ready to serve (optional)


  1. A medium Dutch oven or stock pot should be used to combine the broth and water. The onion, ginger, garlic, and salt are then added after bringing the mixture to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes at medium-low heat.
  2. Add the tomato paste and peanut butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl that can withstand heat before adding 1 to 2 cups of the boiling stock. Pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and thoroughly combine after whisking the mixture until it is smooth. Add the collard greens and spicy sauce to taste to the soup.
  3. On medium-low heat, simmer for a further 15 minutes while stirring frequently. If desired, season with more salt or hot sauce. If serving over cooked brown rice, sprinkle with additional chopped peanuts before serving.


Adapted from Devra Gartenstein’s Local Bounty: Vegan Seasonal Recipes.

  • The guidebook author claimed that 1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes will work well in place of the tomato paste, but commenters claim that the soup produced by the crushed tomatoes is watery (unlike the thick soup shown here).
  • If you can obtain tomato paste, I urge you to use it. I also suggest the organic tomato products from Muir Glen; these come in BPA-free cans and seem to be widely accessible.
  • Most recipes for African peanut soup call for sweet potatoes.
  • When you bring the stock to a boil, you could add a chopped sweet potato, but I like the soup without it.