Peanut Butter Soup

Recipe taken from The International Table: Recipes from the Seattle Sister Cities

Peanut-based soups —also known as groundnut or granat soups —are popular in West Africa. Rich, savory, and spicy, this warming soup will fill you up. Many variations of this soup exist —depending on the country or region —so don’t be afraid to experiment. Accompanying proteins include lamb, chicken, beef, or smoke-dried fish; use crimini mushrooms and vegetable stock for a flavor-filled vegetarian alternative. Serves 4–6.



1–2 Tbsp palm oil or canola oil

2–3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb boneless beef or chicken, cut in small pieces, or 3 pints of diced crimini mushrooms

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 carrots, peeled and sliced into medallions

2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

1 onion, finely sliced

1–3 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, sliced; remove the seeds and pith to reduce the spiciness (optional)

1 Tbsp peanut oil

1 cup unsweetened peanut butter

1 1/2 tsp dried crayfish powder* (optional)

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

garnish with dry-roasted peanuts and cilantro

*DRIED CRAYFISH are common in African cooking, adding a strong, smoky fish flavor. These are very small baby freshwater shrimp—a different species than American crayfish—that have been sun-dried or smoked. They are often ground (pulse whole dried crayfish in a food processor to turn them into a powder). May be sold as BABY SHRIMP. Substitute with Japanese bonito flakes.



Combine oil, garlic, meat or mushrooms, ginger, carrots, and stock in a Dutch oven or stock pot with a heavy bottom and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, until meat is tender.

Fry onion and chili pepper in peanut oil until soft but not browned. Add to the meat along with the peanut butter, crayfish powder, and salt and ground black pepper to taste. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Garnish with peanuts and cilantro and serve with rice.