Comforting, and nourishing with a bit of a kick, vegan African Peanut Stew with chickpeas (or black eyed peas) comes together fast and is freezer friendly! This hearty stew is vegetarian, vegan and easily gluten free.
This recipe was first published in 2016 and updated in 2019 with new text, photos, and additional notes.
A super hearty, cozy and satisfying stew when the temperature drops. This flavorful vegan African Peanut Stew is a delicious balance of sweet and spicy. It comes together in one pot, and with a whirl in the blender, to make clean up a snap! Weeknight easy and weekend cozy is my kind of winter food.
Ingredients for African Peanut Stew
Simple ingredients come together to create this mouthwatering vegetarian and vegan stew. Here’s what you’ll need to whip it up!
- Peanuts (optional)
- Fresh Ginger and Garlic
- Ground Coriander or Cumin
- Sweet Potato
- Vegetable Broth
- Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
- Natural Peanut Butter – crunchy or creamy
- Canned Tomatoes
- Cooked Chickpeas or Black Eyed Peas
- Greens such as Collards, Kale or Spinach
I include chickpeas or black eyed peas in this recipe to add a bit more substance and protein. Use whichever one you have on hand. Be sure to check the label on the black eyed peas as many brands include some sort of meat. Of course, you can always cook your own from scratch!
What Greens to Include?
This Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup can be made with just about any hearty green. Greens like collards, kale, chard and spinach are all work well in this stew. Keep in mind spinach will cook quicker than collards, kale and chard. So if using spinach, add it just before ladling into soup bowls. If you’ve not given collards a try, I encourage you to give them a go. They’re a powerhouse of nutrients and taste amazing!
How to Make this African Peanut Stew
You’ll need a sturdy knife, a 4 Qt soup pot or Dutch oven, and a blender to whip this stew up. Here’s how to do it:
- First, saute the onions in a bit of oil. Add the garlic, ginger and sweet potatoes. Stir in the broth.
- Second, simmer the stew until the potatoes are fork tender, then transfer a few cups to a blender. To the blender add the peanut butter and chipotle pepper. Blend.
- Third, transfer the blended mixture to the soup pot – it will be thick. Add the tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Next, stir in the chickpeas (or black eyed peas) and collards if using, warm through for five minutes.
- Last, if not using collards, stir in the kale or spinach just until wilted. Give the soup pot a good squeeze of lime juice and ladle into soup bowls.
A Few Recipe Notes
- How Spicy? For the smoky-spicy chipotle in this soup, take it up or down. I’ve included one chipotle pepper in the recipe and found this to be just right. But if you’re sensitive to spicy, use only half a pepper just to get a taste without overwhelm. If you like red-hot spicy and want to kick it up, use a pepper and a half to even two peppers! The spicy is up to you.
- Serve With: I share this peanut stew with brown basmati rice, but it is just as delicious serving it without a grain or a different grain like quinoa. Be sure to pile the toppings and garnishes on high. They add so much texture and flavor to the soup.
- Freezer Friendly? Yes Please! This stew freezes with ease. Simply store in a lidded container, single serve for easy grab n go lunches, and freeze for up to two weeks. Thaw in the fridge overnight and gently rewarm stovetop.
- Use cooked chickpeas or black eyed peas to bulk up this hearty sweet potato and peanut soup. I love both, and use whichever one I have on hand. Look for canned black eyed peas without the addition of meat. Or even better, whip up a batch of Slow Cooked Black Eyed Peas!
More Hearty Stews to Love
- Moroccan Lentil Chickpea Stew
- Smoky White Bean Wheat Berry Stew
- Harissa Stewed Black Eyed Peas with Collard Greens
- Moroccan Butternut Squash Lentil Stew
- Hoppin John Stew
African Peanut Stew
For the Soup:
- 1/4 C (40g) Peanuts toasted (optional for garnish)
- 1 Tbs Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
- 1 C (130g) Yellow Onion diced, about 1 medium onion
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Tbs Fresh Ginger grated* see note
- 1 heaped Tbs Fresh Garlic grated* see note
- 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander or 3/4 tsp Ground Cumin
- 4 C (500g) Sweet Potato peeled and cut into large 1/4" - 1/2" (6mm-12mm) cubes. About one large sweet potato
- 4 1/2 C (1.05kg) Vegetable Stock use 1/2 water 1/2 veg stock or a mixture of the two to cut the salt if desired
- 1 Small Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce **see note | add 1/2 of another pepper for more kick, look for gluten free if needed
- 5 Tbs (80g) Natural Peanut Butter creamy or crunchy
- 1 Can (411g) Diced Tomatoes with their juices
- 1, 15 oz (425g) Can Cooked Chickpeas or Black Eyed Peas drained and rinsed, about 2 cups
- 2 C (85g) Collard Greens or Spinach ***see note | cut into thin 1/2" ribbons. Reserve a small hand-full for garnish if desired
- 1/2 Lime + more for serving
- Brown Basmati Rice optional
- Toasted Peanuts
- Fist full of Cilantro
- Raw Reserved Greens
- Tabasco to amp up the heat optional
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and toast the peanuts for about 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant and golden. Set aside to cool.
- To a large 4 Qt. stock-pot or Dutch oven add the coconut or olive oil on medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and salt, saute for about 8 minutes or until soft and transparent. Some browning is okay.
- Add ginger, garlic and coriander (or cumin), stirring for no more than 1 minute, or until fragrant. The garlic and ginger will stick a bit. Add the sweet potato and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, and simmer until the potatoes are just fork tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- Scoop 2 1/2 cups (583g) of the potato/broth mixture out and pour it into a blender. Add the chipotle pepper and peanut butter. Blend the mixture into a smooth puree. Pour the puree back into the stock-pot (it will be thick). Stir in the diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low. Add the collard greens if using and chickpeas (or cooked black eyed peas). Simmer for 5 minutes to warm through and wilt the collards. If using spinach or kale, toss in and stir just before serving. If a thinner stew is desired, add 1/2 C water or broth, stir to warm through. Squeeze 1/2 lime over stew and stir. Taste for salt adjustment.
- Serve with grain of choice. I like Brown Basmati Rice, but it's also quite tasty with Quinoa, toasted peanuts, cilantro, and a sprinkle of fresh reserved greens. Refrigerate for three days or freeze for up to two weeks in a lidded container.