West African Vegan Peanut Soup with Rice Balls

Having a West African background, peanut soup/stew (or groundnut soup as they say) was always a staple meal growing up.

My mother used to make this thick soup with all kinds of meats and seafood. However, since becoming vegan, it’s been a meal that I’ve missed dearly.

So I decided to take it upon myself to make an African vegan peanut soup recipe which is just as delicious as my mums original!

Usually, my mother would boil the onion and garlic in chicken or beef stock before blending it up and adding it back in the soup pot together with the rest of the ingredients.

Taking advantage of a blender when preparing a classic African dish

I experimented with sautéing the vegetables in the soup pot first and adding the rest of the blended ingredients later. It seemed to work nicely while streamlining the cooking process.

This is a lovely authentic African meal, however, the way I’ve prepared it is quite similar to our Vegan Cauliflower and Potato Curry and our Leek and Mushroom Vegan White Sauce Fettuccine, where the blender is used to create the sauce, or in this case, the soup mix.

vegan peanut soup bowls

I had a couple of test runs to get the consistency right. I love this recipe because it’s super simple to make and you can easily make it in large quantities.

Feel free to experiment with different vegetables and soy products. You could even add cashews in towards the end if you want something crunchy in the soup.

Let your imagination run wild! I used zucchini and pumpkin because that’s what was available in our house 😉

African-style rice balls to accompany your vegan peanut soup

Another key addition to taking this recipe to another level is preparing the rice balls, which are called Omo tuo in Ghana. 

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but my wife Maša is disappointed if I don’t make the rice balls with the peanut soup. It’s just not the same.

Even though the balls look small, they are tightly rolled, so there’s quite a bit of rice in them. I highly recommend you prepare the balls for the full West African experience. I’ve included the instructions to the rice balls below 🙂

rice balls for vegan peanut soup

I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about this vegan peanut soup!

Other recipes you’ll love:

  1. Ghanaian Spinach Stew with Chickpeas (Vegan)
  2. Immune Boosting Bean Soup
  3. Vegan Black-Eyed Bean Stew
  4. Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Coconut Rice
  5. Creamy Red Lentil Curry (Vegan-Friendly)

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

African Vegan Peanut Soup with Rice Balls

African Vegan Peanut Soup with Rice Balls

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Enjoy this hearty African vegan peanut soup/stew with rice balls (for the full experience).

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Grapeseed or rice bran oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 zucchini
  • 1/2 large-sized pumpkin
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice, rinsed a couple of times and drained

Soup mix

  • 1 can of peeled (or diced) tomatoes
  • 4 heaped tbsp of certified organic peanut butter (sugar-free)
  • 4 tbsp of tamari/soy sauce
  • 4 peeled cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 4 cups of filtered water

Instructions

  1. Cook the jasmine rice following the instructions on the packet. However, add a 1/2 cup of extra water.*
  2. In a large saucepan on low-medium heat, add oil and finely chopped onion and cook for around 5 minutes.
  3. Chop zucchini and pumpkin into small wedges and add it to the saucepan.
  4. Add all of the soup mix ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Add the soup mix to the vegetables and stir well until combined.
  6. Continue to cook the soup on low to medium heat for 30 minutes and stir regularly until the soup starts to thicken.
  7. Take a serving spoon and mix and smash the rice until there is a smooth consistency.
  8. Scoop large portions of rice into a spoon and shape them into round balls using your hands. Tip: use dabs of cold water to bind the balls together. See video in this post for further support.

Notes

*You need extra water in the rice to make the texture softer to shape into rice balls. Alternatively, you can add more water once the rice is cooked.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1852mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 11gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed.

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22 thoughts on “West African Vegan Peanut Soup with Rice Balls”

  1. I made this today, including the rice balls. Didn’t have any pumpkin or squash to hand so used sweet potato. It was DIVINE!

    Thank you for sharing it.

  2. I’m used to making peanut soup with meat. Thanks to your inspiration, I tried this and wow! Delicious! Thank you.

  3. I blanched then roasted some sugar pumpkin, tomatoes, peanuts, and parsnips, then blitzed them into a base with garlic and seasonings. added sautéed onions and chopped red peppers. salted to taste… topped at serving with a few blister peanuts (crunch!), a dusting of berbere and spiralized zucchini noodles.

  4. Pingback: Vegan Black-Eyed Bean Stew - The Minimalist Vegan

  5. Such an interesting recipe, will definitely make. Love anything with PB <3
    The rice balls on top looks so very cute 🙂

  6. Is it possible to swap the rice bran oil for peanut oil? I only have the latter at home.. feel like it might go with a peanut soup 😛

    1. Akua Gaudry

      My mouth is drooling. I can’t wait to make this! If you have anymore vegan Ghanaian recipes could you please share! I am originally from Ghana and have been vegan for 8 months now and I really miss many dishes that I had growing up.

      1. Haha of course. We’ll be sharing everywhere we can. I’m so glad you’re finding some vegan-friendly versions of your childhood favourites. I’m still trying to perfect my jollof!

  7. I love this recipe! Thank you so much! When I was little one of my mom’s friends came back from Africa and offered to make us a traditional African meal. I still remember it as one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to make this!

  8. Just had this for dinner – it was so simple, delicious and incredibly satisfying. I added tofu and substituted the pumpkin for buttercup squash since that’s what I had. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe!

  9. Help please. I’m Just about to make this:
    It says “add all ingredients in the soup to blender and blend until smooth” and then “add the soup mix to the vegetables”
    What parts should be blended? It implies everything should be blended and then says the vegetables should be separate. What is being blended? The recipe is all vegetables.

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