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Mollie Katzen's West African Peanut Sweet Potato Soup

(recipe, Ingrid Lundin)

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This Moosewood Cookbook classic is a standard winter soup in our house — creamy, slightly spicy goodness.


  1. 2 cups chopped onions 
  2. 1 Tbsp oil (I used coconut) 
  3. ½ tsp cayenne (or to taste) 
  4. 1 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger root (or more to taste) 
  5. 1 cup chopped carrots 
  6. 2 cups chopped sweet potatoes 
  7. 4 cups vegetable stock or water 
  8. 2 cups tomato juice (I use V8) 
  9. 1 cup peanut butter 
  10. Optional: 1 tablespoon sugar (I don’t use) 
  11. 1 cup chopped scallions, parsley and/or cilantro (depending on your tastebuds!)


  1. Saute the onions in the oil until just translucent. Stir in the cayenne and fresh ginger. Add the carrots and saute a couple more minutes. Mix in the potatoes and stock or water, bring the soup to a boil, and then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Using a hand-held blender (or in a blender or food processor), puree the vegetables with the cooking liquid and the tomato juice. Return the puree to a soup pot if using a blender.
  3. I usually measure the 1 cup peanut butter in a 2-cup measuring cup, and add some hot water or soup to it to dissolve the PB before I stir it in. Stir the peanut butter into the soup until smooth. Taste the soup. Its sweetness will depend on the sweetness of the carrots and sweet potatoes. If it’s not there naturally, add just a little sugar to enhance the other flavors.
  4. Reheat the soup gently (careful to prevent scorching with since this is thick soup). Add more water, stock or tomato juice for a thinner soup. Serve topped with plenty of chopped scallions, parsley and/or cilantro as your prefer.