African Peanut Soup

Most recipes on this site are my own. This African Peanut Soup is an exception because I love its hot, sweet creaminess with an *essential* undertone of complex spiciness. I’ve made it twice, the first time following the recipe exactly, well, almost. (Omitted cayenne and hot chili peppers.) That tasty version seemed too heavy, rich and creamy for a large serving as the central part of a meal.

It worked better the second time as a main dish because of these variations offered in the recipe notes (see below).

  • sautéed veggies
  • one can of coconut milk (instead of two)
  • baby spinach and kale, placed raw in the bottom of each bowl before filling with soup

This second try made a lighter soup and raw greens added freshness and texture.

Berbere – don’t skip this spice mix! This is the key ingredient. Berbere is a primary flavoring in Ethiopian cooking and for me, it’s not optional in this soup. It wouldn’t be the same soup without it.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Many thanks to for such a great recipe and beautiful web site.

African Peanut Soup

From the book The 30 Minute Vegan Soup’s On! by Mark Reinfeld.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2013.


      • 3 cups vegetable stock or water
      • 2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk
      • 1 cup diced yellow onion1/2 cup diced celery
      • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
      • 1 teaspoon seeded and diced hot chili pepper
      • 4 cups chopped sweet potato (1/2-inch pieces)
      • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomato (1/2-inch pieces) or 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
      • 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
      • Pinch of cayenne pepper
      • 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce (optional)
      • 1 tablespoon Berbere spice mix (optional)
      • 3/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
      • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
      • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, for garnish
  1. Place the vegetable stock in a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the peanut butter, cilantro, and peanuts, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove about 1 cup of the liquid and place it into a small bowl. Add the peanut butter and stir until creamy. Return the mixture to the pot, stir well, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the cilantro, stir well, and garnish with peanuts before serving.



You can sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil before adding the vegetable stock.
Replace the peanut butter with almond butter or other nut butter.
For a lighter soup, replace one can of coconut milk with an equivalent amount of vegetable stock or water.
Add 2 cups of chopped spinach, chard, or kale once the peanut butter is added.


Colorful Bell Peppers Berbere Pasta

Berbere is an Ethiopian spice that can include – Paprika, Black Pepper, Coriander, Nutmeg, Ginger, Ajwain, Allspice, Birdseye Chili, Fenugreek, Cardamom, Clove, Himalayan Pink Salt, Onion, Garlic

It has a strong, rich, deep, hot flavor.

Most people think that almost everything tastes good fried.  I think almost everything tastes good with pasta.  So this is my Ethiopian pasta dish.  It’s intense but so delicious.  Goes great with wine or beer.  Good bread helps with the heat.

Colorful Bell Peppers Berbere Pasta


  • 1 T oil
  • 1T Berbere spice (less if you don’t want it hot, more if you want it fiery)
  • 1 to 2 medium red, yellow, or orange peppers, quartered, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup kale, finely chopped
  • ½ cup tomato sauce with a little veggie broth 1/8 to ¼ cups
  • 10 grape tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch sliced marinated in Braggs or salt when you start the dish
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 T walnuts – chopped
  • 1 T capers – chopped
  • ½ lb linguini pasta – broken in 2 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup Nutritional yeast

Other Veggies can be added but peppers are great by themselves
Mushrooms, Eggplant, Onions, Zucchini, Squash (all cut up small)

Linguini or other medium size pasta works great!  If pasta is to large (penne, macaroni, rotini), the pasta will take over and through off the balance.  If pasta is two small (angle hair), the sauce & spices take over and there is nothing to offset the strong flavor.

Key ingredients – Berbere, Tomato Sauce, colored peppers

Secondary Ingredients – Garlic, Walnuts, Capers, Nutritional Yeast


  • Cook pasta with a little salt
  • Place Berbere and oil in a medium heated pan, cook for 1 min
  • Add bell peppers with a pinch of salt, cook 3 min
  • Add garlic, cook another 3 min (roasted garlic is Great)
  • Add kale & walnuts, cook 3 minutes
  • Add tomato sauce and cut up tomatoes, cook 2 to 3 minutes (don’t let sliced tomatoes break up)
  • Add a little veggie broth if needed to thin pasta sauce
  • Drain pasta, put in pan with peppers – mix
  • Add capers, nutritional yeast, walnuts – stir
  • Adjust salt if needed

Serve with good red wine, salad, good bread
Servings: 2 – 4

Braised Green Beans

Was able to get some fresh green beans and came up with this recipe.  Wanted to have color, texture and a variety of flavors.  It’s a little complicated but fun and delicious.  Give it a try, goes with lots of other foods.  You can see a picture of our finished plate after the recipe.

Braised Green Beans CloseBraised Green Bean with Onion, Carrot, Pepper, Walnut


½ Medium Onion cut in1/4 inch slices
1 medium red or yellow pepper. Cut in 1/8 inch slices
5 medium cloves garlic, chopped or sliced (roasted works well also)
1 pound of green beans, stemmed, cut in half or thirds
1 carrot, cut in ¼ by 1.5 inch strips – purple, yellow or orange
½ cup chopped walnuts
Coconut oil
3/4 tsp of dry thyme (can also use fresh)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste


  • Sauté garlic over low heat being careful not to burn
  • Remove garlic from pan
  • Sauté onion and pepper with a pinch of salt and ½ tsp of oil until almost done
  • Turn up heat for 1 to 2 minutes to brown – don’t stir
  • Remove onions and peppers from pan (mix with garlic)
  • Turn heat down to medium, lightly roast walnuts
  • Steam green beans and carrots until right before desired tenderness
  • Rinse walnut pan
  • Heat skillet with ½ to 1 T f oil on medium high heat
  • Place steamed vegies in pan, salt
  • Let beans rest for a minute before turn over
  • Cook 3 to 6 minutes (depending on how braised you want them)
  • Turn pan off, stir in onion, pepper, garlic mix into green beans
  • Sprinkle with thyme or sage or rosemary – stir
  • Stir in walnut or sprinkle on green beans once in plate
 Braised Green Beans 2  Braised Green Beans 5  Braised Green Beans 4
 Braised Green Beans 3 Braised Green Beans 6

Braised Green Beans

Tom Kha

Thai Coconut Soup
Tom Kah


1 14 oz. can coconut milk
20 oz. vegetable stock
8 kaffir lime leaves
1 to 3 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
1/2″ to 3″ piece galangal (Thai ginger a.k.a. “kha”), thinly sliced

1 medium onion
1 to 2 cloves of garlic (or more)
1/2 block of soft tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 cups Veggies – Mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, etc.
1 fresh Thai chili, sliced, OR dried, crushed Thai chili powder, to taste (1/2 to 2 tsp.)
4 to 7 TB lime juice – or more to taste
1 to 2 tsp brown sugar (balances flavors, very important)
1 TB cilantro per bowl, chopped
Salt to taste

Balancing flavors – salt, lemon/lime, hot, sweet

Broth should taste hot, tangy, salty; sugar should not be noticeable. Lemon and salt will complement hot.


Bring water or vegetable stock and coconut milk to a boil and lower fire to a simmer. Add galangal, lemongrass, and lime leaves. Simmer 10 minutes, up to 20 min. for stronger flavor.

Add onion, garlic and tofu, simmer 5 min.

Add veggies with some salt or Braggs Liquid Amino Acids. Simmer 3 to 6 minutes more, until veggies are cooked to desired tenderness.

Remove from fire. Add sugar, squeeze in fresh lime (or lemon) juice, beginning with one lime. Slowly add juice of half a lime more after that, just until you get balanced taste.

Garnish with cilantro, julienned lime leaf, and a lime wedge.

Serve with rice.
Servings: 4-6