Eat Well: African Peanut Soup

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom! 
It’s pumpkin time once again, and the stores are brimming with all colors, sizes and shapes.  It’s easy to forget that pumpkins are more than an ornament to set on a table or porch, and that during these few weeks leading up to Halloween and Thanksgiving we can buy all sorts of exotic pumpkins to eat.  Several years ago, I wrote a postabout the fairytale pumpkin, or Musquée de Provence—a French pumpkin that is delicious—bright orange, sweet and flavorful, and fabulous in sweet as well as savory recipes. 
There is a lot of food in a fairytale pumpkin so it can be a little overwhelming to know what to do with all of that pumpkin. If you aren’t cooking for a crowd, you can freeze the flesh either raw or cooked for up to 6 months so you can have plenty on hand for all of your favorite pumpkin recipes. 

I love squash soup and have shared several recipes here. But on Saturday my mom gave me a copy of her Heirloom Gardener Magazine with a recipe for African Peanut Soup, originally from The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook, and it sounded so delicious that I thought it would be a perfect time to cut open another Musquée de Provence. The pumpkin was perfect for this recipe as it is sweet and creamy.  I haven’t tried making it with sweet potatoes but I can’t imagine it could be better.  Larry and I devoured our soup, oohing and awing the whole time. It is unbelievably delicious, and after we were done, Larry rated it 12 stars out of 10.  (And with a salad and a slice of bread, it made for a very filling and satisfying meal.)

I will freeze enough of my fairytale pumpkin to make a big pot of this soup for Thanksgiving, as I will definitely serve everyone a cup of it for a first course this year.

African Peanut Soup 
(from Emilee Gettle’s The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook)

2 T coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb (2 ½ cups)  Beauregard sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or pumpkin (preferably fairytale)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon chili flakes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 (14.5-ounce0 can diced tomatoes in juice
¾ cup creamy natural-style peanut butter (unsalted)
1 t salt (may not need if your broth has salt in it)
¼ cup chopped toasted peanuts
Chopped cilantro leaves


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onions and sweet potatoes or squash and cook until onions are translucent and sweet potatoes or squash begins to soften, 5-6 minutes.  
Add garlic, ginger, and chili flakes, and cook, stirring, an additional 3 to 4 minutes.  
Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, peanut butter, and salt; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, an additional 10-20 minutes.  
Remove from heat and cool slightly, then puree in batches in the blender (or use an immersion blender).  
Divide among bowls and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. 
Note:  For anyone allergic to peanuts, you could substitute tahini (and a little cumin) for the peanut butter and, although it wouldn’t have the same flavor, I am sure it would also be delicious!




Kirsten | 10:50 PM

Oh hooray for this!! I love simple recipes with excellent ingredients. This year we had a pumpkin plant sprout from where our moveable chicken coop had been the year before (we fed them pumpkin guts from a pumpkin eaten last year) and the one plant produced NINE gigantic pumpkins! Luckily they're delicious, I believe the variety is Long Island Cheese, and luckily there are plenty of amazing recipes like this one to use up all that pumpkin goodness!