Sweet & Spicy Peanut Soup

May 30, 2012

sweet and spicy peanut soup

It took me a really long time to build up the nerve to make this soup. The idea of peanut butter in a soup just didn’t do it for me. And peanut butter with sweet potato and tomatoes really felt like an odd combination. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was very similar to a lot of other ethnic dishes that I enjoy- many Indian dishes, not to mention Pad Thai. If I could enjoy those then I figured there was no reason for me not to like this dish, right?

Well… I was right. All the flavors of this dish came together for one incredible soup. There wasn’t a strongly definitive peanut butter flavor, which I think was my main concern. It was more of a subtle nuttiness than anything else. The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes and other vegetables really paired well with the rest of the nutty-spicy flavor components. Jeez, even ginger made an appearance in this one! There are just so many great ingredients in this soup, it’s really a hard one to pass up.

PLUS! Talk about being healthy– this soup is brimming with nutrients and antioxidants. Think about it- red bell pepper, carrot, sweet potato, tomatoes, and peanut butter. ALL super-foods. That means that they are the best of the best as far as nutrition is concerned. Those are my favorite kinds of soups- delicious and healthy!

sweet and spicy peanut soup


I have to mention this as a disclaimer though- this soup does have a nice little kick to it. I am pretty sensitive to added heat in my food so I definitely noticed it. If you love your buffalo wings extra spicy then you may not even think twice about the heat. For those of you that are cautious- take heed. You may want to back it down to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. I don’t think the full 1/2 tsp is too overwhelming myself, just noticeable. It’s your call though.

Sweet & Spicy Peanut Soup
Serves: 6
  • 1 Tb canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • One 14.5 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • ⅔ cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ cup chopped scallion greens (about 3 scallions)
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over med-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrots and cook, stirring, until the veggies soften, about 10 minutes. Add the cayenne, black pepper, garlic, and ginger and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in sweet potato, broth, and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the peanut butter and honey. Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender or in a regular blender in two batches and return the soup to the pot. Serve warm garnished with scallions.

Adapted from Ellie Krieger “The Food You Crave”


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie @ Table for Two May 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm

this looks so good! i love the bright color of this soup and how deceiving it is. i would think it’s carrot soup and totally expect a carrot taste, i love it. sweet and spicy is one of those combinations that’s both different and awesome at the same time. i think it’s great those two play so well together 🙂 yay for it being super healthy too!


lmachell May 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I know, I totally agree with you! It makes a fantastic flavor combination.


Debs @ The Spanish Wok May 31, 2012 at 6:12 am

I love peanuts, this sounds delicious.

You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.


Megan Willet June 1, 2012 at 1:04 am

Could this be done in the crockpot? Thanks for the recipe.


lmachell June 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

To an extent, probably. I would still add the peanut butter and honey last right before you puree because I don’t think it would incorporate in the slow cooker. It would probably just sit there in a blob.


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