West African Inspired Peanut Lentil Soup. with lentils and veggies, Harissa Spice, peanut butter, Sweet potato. Serves 3 to 4. Lentils make this one filling meal. Vegan Gluten-free Soy-free Recipe
African inspired Peanut Stew is one of the favorite recipes on the interwebs, with many variations and interpretations. A creamy peanutty stew with spices and veggies is definitely needed after all the loaded holiday meals and desserts. Many countries in West Africa have their versions of Peanut stew which can include different vegetables such as okra, eggplants etc, spices, and meats.
My version of the soup has red lentils along with the vegetables. Red lentils make the stew thick and filling and you can reduce the peanut butter/nut butter. It makes a great one bowl meal. Use vegetables of choice like sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, zucchini, eggplant, etc. Top with toasted peanuts of other nuts, cilantro or other herbs a dash of lemon. Serve as is or with crackers or flatbread.
This Christmas we had a no gift policy. We just wanted Chewie to be better and he is. We made a jar of things we want for the next year, mostly things or events we would love to accomplish the next year. That jar will be opened next year to see if everyone got their wishes. Hope you had a fun and love filled Christmas!
Try this African Peanut Stew with Lentils with spices to keep you warm through the snowy cold front.
More stews and soups from the blog. Glutenfree GF, Soyfree SF
- Peanut Carrot Soup GF
- Creamy Spinach soup GF SF
- Chickpea Mushroom Soup GF SF
- 1 pot Chickpea Sweet Potato Spinach Stew. GF SF
- Roasted Asparagus Basil soup. GF SF
- Chipotle corn Chowder GF
- Moroccan lentil soup SF GF
- Cream of Mushroom Soup GF
Cook this soup in a saucepan or in a pressure cooker. Soup in the pictures was cooked in a stove top pressure cooker.
West African Peanut Lentil Soup
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 (0.5) medium onion
- 2 juicy tomatoes
- 4-5 (4) garlic cloves
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek or asian chili sauce or other hot chile sauce to taste
- 1 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 to 1.5 tsp Harissa Spice Blend
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) black pepper
- 1/4 cup (62.5 g) nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter
- 2 tbsp peanuts
- 1/2 cup (90 g) red lentils
- 2 cups (364 g) veggies chopped small or thin slices - zucchini, sweet potato or potato, carrots, eggplant, broccoflower etc
- 2.5 cups (587.5 ml) vegetable stock or water
- 3/4 tsp (0.75 tsp) to 1 salt
- 1 tsp or more lime or lemon juice
- 1/2 cup (15 g) packed baby spinach or other baby greens.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, chili sauce, tomato paste, spices until pureed. Add to the saucepan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add peanut butter, half of the nuts, lentils, veggies, stock, salt and lemon juice. Mix, cover and cook.
- Stir at 15 minutes.Taste and adjust salt, heat and check if the veggies are al-dente. Add in the baby spinach. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the veggies and lentils are cooked through. Add more water if needed.
- Garnish with rest of the peanuts, cilantro, more lemon juice. Serve with flatbread, crackers or as is.
I’m going away over the weekend, and needed to use up some vegetables in my fridge. Richa, your recipes never fail to impress me. This was utterly delicious. I used a sweet potato, half a green pepper, a carrot, and a handful of spinach, and had me right from the first bite. Will definitely make again! (P.S. I also made your veggie and tofu ricotta lasagne for my non-vegan relatives last weekend, and they approved!)
Vegan Richa Support
more veggies the better – I say. That’s great, so happy everyone liked it, thank you
I make this ALL the time. I use your recipe as general guidance, but typically adjust quantities to my desired taste (more lentils, more peanut butter, more cumin, more veg). I’ve made this recipe at least once a month for the past 6 months alone. Simply fantastic.
I think this may be my absolute favorite recipe of all time! It never ceases to amaze me how delicious it is
Richa, I’ve been making this soup for almost 3 years, and still LOVING IT!! Your record are exceptional.
Made this for lunch today and it was good! I think it took more time to prepare all the vegetables than it did to actually cook it. I bought peanuts and cilantro but otherwise used what we had on hand. For veggies I used a potato, a sweet potato and a carrot. I didn’t have the Harissa spice or asian chili sauce, but put in a couple “shakes” of Tabasco and it was spicy enough for us. When I got home I discovered my husband had eaten all the almond butter while I was shopping so I put some peanuts in a mini food processor and made peanut butter. Even with the short cook time it developed a rich flavor and the potato absorbed the flavor. The veggies and red lentils really do cook up in about 15 minutes, so don’t overcook it.
Made this today and wow Richa! Absolutely amazing! I have your Indian cookbook which I also have used a lot, you have amazing recipes! Really has been wonderful with your comforting recipes in this cold Norwegian winter this year!
Hi Richa, can you use Berbere spice instead of harissa in this recipe?
yes totally. berbere tastes so good with lentils
awesome! I can’t wait to try this! I’ll let you know how it turns out!
This is the first recipe I made of yours and it was amazing. Looking forward to trying more.
I just made this soup, and the flavour is beautiful! Unfortunately my lentils burnt to the bottom, as I added them at the same time as the potato. I managed to save it by transferring do another pot. But next time I’ll add hthe lentils a bit later.
Great! Add more water, cook at lower heat and stir occasionally. Maybe the stove runs hotter so they cooked faster.
I have just made this and am eating it now. It is officially my new favourite dinner. Flavour is perfect! Perfect balance of spice, peanut flavours. Perfect consistency. Every mouthful is a flavour explosion. Soothing my soul! Love it
Your recipes are inspiring me to give up meat but I’m very low in iron and b12 just had two blood transfusions .any advice how to bump up my supplies without meat ?
Hi Felicity, please see a doctor about the low iron and b12 to find why it is so low. There can be several reasons other than diet that might be causing it, and if so, dietary additions or changes might not help.
Loving this! I need to make it soon, it sounds wonderful!
Could this be cooked in a slow cooker, after sweating the onions and paste first? Love your recipes and am always telling people to find you. Thank you.
Thank you Janie! I am sure you can cook it in a slow cooker. If there is a setting or time for red lentils, use that.
This was delicious! Made a double batch using broccoli and cauliflower for the veggies since that was what I had on hand. I will definitely be making this again!
Can I use green lentils? 🙂
Sure. they will take longer to cook. Add more water and cook for another 20 minutes.
another fabulous recipe – thanks Richa! have made this several times, each time a bit different depending on what we have on hand, but as long as we have sambal oelek and peanut butter in the house, we’re good to go:)
Awesome! thats what i do too! add different spice blends like berbere, cajun etc.
Amazing – coming from an avid meat eater! Will make again. A great vegan option and also super cheap for the grad student on a budget!
Made this soup today and it was delicious. I love the versatility of the different vegetable options. I used sweet potatoes and carrots as well as chopped Swiss chard for the baby greens.
Made this last week and it was so delish! I used sweet potatoes, carrots and cauliflower for the veggies and it was perfect. Just got better with age too :). Going to make your lentils in peanut (almond) sauce this weekend with the leftover ingredients! Every recipe of yours I’ve made has been so delish. Thanks for your amazing easy recipes.
This recipe was great.. I used Almonds instead of peanuts .. and roasted them.. so good !!!!
Thanks for the yummy meal …
Didn’t have peanuts so I added some brown rice to this, it was delicious.
Made this dish last night and it was wonderful! My daughter had seconds and wanted the leftovers for her lunch today. Next time will double the recipe so I can freeze some and take for my lunch. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
My husband made this soup yesterday, following instructions exactly. It took an hour, which included cleaning up as he went, and that’s good for us! This is right up there with the best soups I have ever had. It might be THE best. Vegan Richa now joins Angela Liddon as my vegan cooking guru(s) and I just purchased her book. Delicious, rich in flavor and texture. For us, it’s 4-5 servings.
Awesome!! Thank you for making it and loving the soup! <3 Thank you for buying my book!
Steph @ The Grateful Grazer
This sounds so warm and comforting. I’m all for anything that combines harissa + peanut sauce…can’t wait to try! 🙂
This sounds and looks wonderful! The flavours sound dreamy.
Nourishing Amelia | Food, Health and Lifestyle Blogger
I made this for lunch today and it tasted great. I had to do without the tomato paste and I’m not sure if that altered the taste but it still tasted fantastic. We had this with Turkish Pide. It’s a simple recipe and will definitely be one of my go to recipes. Thanks Richa.
Awesome! you can add more lemon for the tangy profile that the tomato paste will add.
Peanuts and lentil soup seem SO unlikely together, but this is actually a fantastic idea!
Riicha, this recipe sounds lovely. I think I will pressure cook a double batch this afternoon. Glad to hear that Chewie is better. And I love your idea of the jar. Maybe my hubs will do a jar of hopes and desires for the new year. I wish all your dreams and hopes come true in a healthy and happy 2016! Thanks for everything you share with us. I’m giving you five stars as a general opinion of your entire blog!! 🙂 But the star function isn’t letting me do it. 🙁
Hi Richa. Just wondering if you are still doing your jar of hopes and plans. I love that idea so I’m wondering how it worked out. Thanks. I love your blog, the way you share yourself with us, and all of your winning recipes, which I can always count on.
Yes we open it every christmas! our friends who visit around the time added their plans as well and we open and check. We also had a gratitude jar going for per day, which we now try to do every week or every other week. That was a nice one to pause to think of the good things that have happened.