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Peanut Butter Soup with Fonio

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January 20, 2023 by Amethyst Ganaway

Groundnut soup, more commonly referred to as peanut soup or peanut butter soup here in the US, is a salty, sweet, and savory soup or stew from West Africa. I grew up eating this soup every Friday after Jummah at the mosque – its creamy goodness was something I waited patiently for after school and after service. The women would make huge spreads of food to feed everyone, and peanut butter soup was always there. I decided to try to make my own version of the stew, adding traditional ingredients like dawawada and red palm oil, and opting to make it completely vegan, even though I grew up eating it with lamb and goat too. Eat it on its own, or, serve it with fonio to soak up all of that saucy peanut butter soup!


  • tablespoon neutral-flavored oil or red palm oil
  • ½  small yellow onion, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • tablespoons tomato paste
  • cup unsalted peanut butter
  • cups water or vegetable stock
  • scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
  • teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Ground dawadawa to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooked Yolélé fonio for serving
  • ¼  cup chopped peanuts, for garnish
  • ¼  cup cilantro or parsley, finely chopped for garnish


  • 01 .  

    In a medium-sized pot, add oil and heat over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add chopped onion, ginger, and garlic and saute until fragrant and the ingredients have begun to soften about 3 minutes.

  • 02 .  

    Add tomato paste and stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Then add peanut butter and stir or whisk well until all ingredients are incorporated.

  • 03 .  

    Add water or stock and mix together well, then add your pepper (or omit it if you don’t like heat, but we highly recommend it), and smoked paprika. Season with salt and dawadawa to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring often to loosen the peanut butter and to ensure nothing sticks.

  • 04 .  

    Serve with fonio, chopped peanuts, and fresh herbs.


FonioGaram MasalaBread Pudding