African Peanut Soup

This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

Peanut butter sounds like a strange ingredient to base a soup on, but believe us, it works. This mouth-watering soup tastes nothing like a PB & J; rather, its blend of curry spices, sweet potato and fresh ginger gives it a unique, complex flavor that will have you making it again and again.

NotesMaking your own curry powder guarantees a fresh, lively character in your dishes. Purchased curry powder may have been sitting on your grocer’s shelf for a long time, which reduces its flavor.




Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseAppetizer, Main Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Soy Free



Taste and TextureCreamy, Hot & Spicy, Nutty, Rich, Savory, Sweet

Type of DishHot Soup, Soup


  • 1½ tbsp (22 mL) olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb (500 g) lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) minced gingerroot
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) curry powder
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 3 cups (750 mL) diced peeled sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
  • 1 can (14 oz/400 mL) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) packed brown sugar


  1. In a large pot, heat 1½ tsp (7 mL) of the oil over medium heat. Add turkey and sauté, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season with ½ tsp (2 mL) of the salt and the black pepper. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

  2. Drain the fat from the pot, add the remaining oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, hot pepper flakes and curry powder; sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, sweet potatoes and stock; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Whisk in coconut milk and peanut butter. Return turkey to the pot and stir in brown sugar and the remaining salt; simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary.

  3. Ladle into heated bowls.


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This was fantastic... and I made it vegan. No turkey, and substituted vegetable broth for the chicken broth. And I pureed it. One of the best soups ever.

Hi Andi! That sounds like a delicious variation - thank you for sharing, and so glad you enjoyed it!

This is absolutely delicious! I have made it just as written and also once substituted cooked chicken breast for the ground turkey. Can't say enough about how wonderful this is! A nice change from most "every day" soups.

What a hearty, tasty soup! I made the recipe exactly as written, despite being tempted to puree it before adding the peanut butter and returning the turkey to it. I'm not sure that would be a bad soup, either, but just as it is it's wonderful. One note: the ground turkey was so lean that it stuck to the pan a bit and there certainly wasn't any fat to drain away after cooking it.

Once I tasted this soup I couldn't wait to share the recipe with friend's all over the country. I have received nothing but rave reviews from all of them. Love this soup!


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