African Inspired Sweet Potato, Peanut and Tomato Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 20-25mins
Cooking Time: ≤30mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, grater, non-stick pot(large) w/lid, wooden spoon, ladle

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar and salt and contains a moderate quantity of saturated fats!

Good news, the weather is just cool and miserable enough to enjoy a few more bowls of soup; well, there has to be a silver lining somewhere! This will probably be one of the last soups recipes we’ll be sharing with you this season, so we really hope that you enjoy it! 

Last year we saw many African peanut-based soups pass us by and well, they all looked tasty, but you don’t have to ask us twice; we have an ongoing love affair with peanut butter so this soup was a ‘must make’! However, traditional African peanut-based soups tend to be high fats due to the addition of lots of peanut butter (we saw 1-2 cups at an extreme, but even we have our limits!), whole nuts, oil, coconut milk and/or dark poultry meats.

Well, you know us, we went and created a healthier (and completely plant-based) version that is packed full of nutrients and flavour! We ummed and ahhed about what we would prefer and chose some of our favourite pulses and veggies (although they may not be entirely authentic), and various aspects and flavours from other recipes that we would enjoy. For instance, we loved the idea of using an Ethiopian spice mix, a Berbere mix, because it contained so many flavours that we love; we used fresh garlic, chilli and ginger and gathered the rest from our spice cupboard! We kept the peanut butter and added nuts to a minimum, but there is still get a rich and earthy flavour from it in the soup. 

If you’ve never made this soup before, we recommend not tasting it until the peanut butter is added right at the end. The combination of sweet potato, peanut butter, tomato and spices does sound strange, yes, but we think the flavour doesn’t really come together until right at the end. Sometimes all it takes is one ingredient to bring a dish together and this time peanut butter comes to the rescue! 

We’ve had this soup a few times now and overall we think that it’s comforting and homely, creamy and spicy, healthful and easy to make; oh and peanut butter lovers and heat seekers can now rejoice! 😀

A few other good things to note:

  • If you are halving the serving size, the prep will probably only take you about 10 mins!
  • If you would prefer a little more texture, you can try swapping the red lentils for brown (although do not cook them in the soup, cook them separately first) or even try serving it over some cooked brown basmati rice or pearl barley. Alternatively, try using a crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth!
  • If you love spicy flavours or heat in your dish (like us), then buy all means add a little more ginger or chilli! However, we do not recommend omitting the ginger and chilli entirely; otherwise this soup will probably taste quite bland and weird!
  • If you don’t want to use spinach, you can use more traditional greens in your soup such as spring/collard greens or kale.
  • If you can’t get a hold of banana shallots, just use some brown onions instead.
  • Our bowl of soup does not look that sexy; it would take too many crushed nuts (aka additional calories!) to make it worth our while. 
  • Based on six servings, one serving provides you with about 4.5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients
30g             Garlic clove
260g           Banana shallot
20g             Green chilli
50g             Root ginger
200g           Red bell pepper
200g           Carrot
1kg               Sweet potatoes
+++              Low-fat oil spray
*Berbere spice mix: 1 tbsp fenugreek     leaves, 6g ground coriander, 1g ground cloves, ¼ tsp red chilli flakes, 1/8 tsp ajwain seeds, dash of salt and black pepper
130g            Dried red spilt lentils
400g           Tin plum tomatoes
1.5L              Veggie Stock (low-salt)
100-110g     Natural peanut butter
20g              Creamed coconut
20g              Fresh coriander leaf
120-160g     Baby spinach
+++               Fresh chives (*optional)
+++               Blanched peanuts                                        (10g/person/*optional)

Need an easy print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Peel and finely chop the garlic and shallot. Wash, remove the stem and then finely dice the chilli. Wash, peel and then grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem and core and then chop the bell pepper into ½cm pieces. Wash, peel, trim the top and then quarter the carrot. Wash, peel and then chop the sweet potato into chunky pieces (we chopped ours into quarters).

2. Heat some low-fat oil spray in a large, non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic, onion, chilli and ginger. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper, carrot and sweet potato. Stir together. Cover with a lid and gently fry for 4 mins; stirring occasionally. Add the Berbere spice mix. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 30 secs or until fragrant. Add the lentils. Stir to coat. Add the tin tomatoes and pour in 1.5L vegetable stock. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Bring to an almost boil. Cook and simmer for 10-15 mins or until the potatoes are tender and cooked.

3. In the meantime, wash the coriander, remove its leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Wash and roughly slice the spinach. Wash and finely slice some chives (if using). Roughly chop and/or crush some peanuts (if using) and dry-fry in a frying pan (if preferred).

4. Add the creamed coconut and peanut butter. Stir to combine and melt through the soup. Once melted, add the spinach and coriander (if preferred, save a little for a garnish later on). Stir through. Cover with the lid and allow it to wilt (about 1 minute). Stir through. Remove from the heat. Taste and season the soup as necessary.

5. Serve warm. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with any reserved coriander, chives and/or some crushed peanuts (if preferred).

Enjoy!

Tip: Refrigerate any leftover soup in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months. NB: When reheating, allow it to get hot but do not allow it to boil.

 

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