Friday, August 29, 2008

African Peanut and Yam Soup - My Legume Love Affair-Second Helping

African Peanut and Yam Soup

Easy and exotic, a cluster of mashed yam
dollops a groundnut and vegetable soup
that's as thick and rich as gravy.


Peanuts pack a healthy punch of protein and elusive friendly fats.

African Peanut and Yam Soup - Adapted from the Peanut Soup and Fufu* recipes from The Congo Cookbook


4 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
(or 4 cups vegetable stock)
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Red Pepper flakes (optional to taste and garnish)

*1 ½ pounds yams, boiled or microwaved, skinned and mashed (a very streamlined version of the labor-intensive, two-person task of pounding traditional fufu into a smooth, dense dough for scooping stews and gravies to eat by hand)


In a large pot, bring all ingredients except the peanut butter and seasonings to a boil, then reduce heat to low, simmering approximately 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Add peanut butter, allowing it to soften briefly in the hot stock before stirring it in. Simmer several more minutes until heated through and gently bubbling. Simmer longer if you prefer a thicker soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, then drop generous spoonfuls of mashed yams into the soup. Garnish with red pepper flakes if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 4. –

African Peanut and Yam Soup

This is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair - Second Helping, which I am hosting for August to kick off what is now a monthly event. (I will publish a separate post next week listing the guest hosts throughout the coming months.) This current round-up will be online very late tonight or tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who has participated. And thanks for the dozens of generous and friendly comments left to my most recent posts. I will be replying to every one of them as soon as the round-up is posted, as well as continuing to visit and comment to your blogs, which I have been having the pleasure of doing these past several days as I work to catch up on everything since my return from break. See you soon!


Been There, Done That ~

Chickpeas, Broccoli Rabe and Brown Rice
Pomegranate Lentil Soup

Other People's Eats ~

Peanut Sauce
Garlic, Chickpea and Peanut Soup
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake


  1. Those photos...those flavours...

    Easy AND Exotic.

    You do amaze me. And often.

  2. Sweet potato and PB (or, actually, any nut butter) is one of my favorite combinations. This sounds fantastic. So I'm guessing the peanuts are stand-ins for groundnuts? Or are they actually the same thing?

  3. I love the photos, the way you composed the soup. And the recipe sounds very interesting. I am looking forward to the roundup.

  4. I really like the look of that! My grandfather occasionally talks about the groundnut stew he had working in Nigeria in the 1950s - I should make this for him when I am home at Christmas!

  5. I feel like an idiot - I had no idea peanuts were legumes!!!!!

  6. How yummy and exotic! Lovely photos.

  7. Your recipe looks amazing! My college roommate and very dear friend lived in Ghana for a while and came back to the states gushing about fufu... I remember trying to make a very elaborate recipe for her in our college apartment one night! :-) I am excitedly passing this recipe along to her - and I can't wait to fix it as well!

    I am SO excited that the legume love affair will become a regular event! Hooray! Legumes are such an important part of our diet - thank you for the inspiration!

  8. Susan,
    That soup looks simply divine. Peanut soup is a favorite here with the kids and my husband. I'll have to try your version now that we are getting into colder rainier weather here. Thanks for this great post.

  9. This looks gorgeous! This is quite an "exotic" soup to me yet so "familiar" at the same time. Peanuts, in any way shape or form, are always a hit in our house.

  10. Oh that soup sounds terrific, especially for soon approaching autumn. I absolutely love how you garnished it.

  11. Your soup looks so delicious! I have never had peanut soup in my life and I am really curious about the taste. Must be yummy!

  12. That's certainly an unusual combination of flavours. I've not had much of African food.
    The yam here in India looks very different - it's yellow, not orange.

  13. Delicious! Sweet potatoes and peanuts: a marriage made in heaven :).

    We'd like to invite you to participate in our September apple and peach recipe contest. All competitors will be eligible to win one of three prizes :)! Please email me,, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details:

    Thanks :),

    KI Chief Blogger

  14. Mmm I peanut butter in soups and stews sound weird to some but I really like it. It's also commonly used in Filipino cuisine.

  15. How exotic, how beautiful! Looking at the photo, I thought this will be difficult to prepare so it's a surprise that the instructions are relatively short, hee. Your photos never fail me to 'wow' me the instant they load on my screen! ^^

  16. Another excelent round up, but Im blown away by your contributuon and photos.

  17. there are some fabulous recipes here!

  18. What a gorgeous looking spoon! Your photos are fab!

  19. Lucy – Thanks, dear girl.

    Ricki – The peanut is a type of groundnut (“ground” for its growth habit), as it is generally known in in some cultures. I’m a big fan of nut butters, too.

    Thank you, Simona. Sometimes the composition takes longer than the actual cooking.

    Foodycat – Thanks! Many who visit Africa talk fondly about the food. I can see why.

    Alex – You’re not an idiot. We all have things to learn. It’s the know-it-all who is the idiot.

    Thank you, Katie!

    Astra – Thank you. Someday I will try my hand at authentic fufu, but I will definitely need FOUR hands to do it. ; } Glad you are inspired by MLLA. I know that I will be sure to post about legumes at least once a month for the duration of the event.

    Thanks, Alexa. This is an excellent recipe to warm up chilly, wet days.

    Eating Club Vancouver – Thanks! Peanut butter outside of sandwiches and cookies always seems “exotic” to me, too.

    Lori Lynn – Thank you. The red pepper flakes were a garnish with real purpose, giving it a nice spike of spice.

    Thank you, Farida. It tastes like a thin, savory, spiced peanut butter with a touch of natural sweetness from the nut.

    Sra – African food is as varied as regional Indian, despite some general similarities. Food in the north, close to the Middle East is far removed from that in the Congo. There’s a lot to explore.

    Thank you, Sophie! It’s a very nutritious marriage, too.

    Jude – For those used to P&J, this soup would seem “weird.” I enjoyed it. Filipino cuisine is one that I have to investigate more closely. I’ve read about some really wonderful recipes recently.

    Wiffy – Thanks! That is a supreme compliment. This recipe would definitely work for the noob in you. ; }

    Coco – Thanks! The recipe really was a wow.

    Abby – Thanks for helping make the round-up a success.

    Mari – Thank you. I hope you are feeling better.

  20. Absolutely gorgeous photos - and, I imagine, a yam and peanut soup can't be the easiest thing to photograph! I'm a huge peanut fan, so I'll definitely be trying this as soon as it cools down a bit here.

  21. Wow - this sounds intriguing. People often ask me if we use goundnuts much in South African cooking, but I think it's more our northern neighbours, so I'm not that familiar with cooking with groundnuts. This sounds like a fascinating combination of flavours!

  22. I was thinking what Sra already said - ours is yellow but some regional differences are bound to be there. The soup looks tasty and nutritious!

  23. Susa, lovie ~ As Eric and I have hit our 30s, we've become increasingly aware of food that is high in fibre and that lowers (bad) cholesterol. Legumes are vital, and it is no wonder that developing countries still recognise the value of the dietary contribution they make, unlike others in the developed world who have moved on to processed goods. Your now monthly event, My Legume Love Affair will be a great bank of recipes and ideas for all of us to improve our diets.