Grains of Paradise Peanut Soup

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Peanuts, called groundnuts in West Africa, were adopted as a staple soon after their arrival from the New World. This sweet-and-savory soup gets its savoriness from Ajwain, and its peppery heat from Grains of Paradise. The soup is considered a comfort food — with many vegetarian, fish and meat variations — and usually features whole pieces when prepared with chicken.

Paradise Peanut Soup Rocks!


Paradise Peanut Soup

Yield: Serves 4 - 6

Paradise Peanut Soup


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground Grains of Paradise
  • 2 teaspoons ground Ajwain
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (any style)
  • 1 medium-sized yam or sweet potato, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground Tabil


  1. Melt butter (or olive oil) in medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir frequently until browned, 5-7 minutes. Add onion, stirring until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add Grains of Paradise and Ajwain, stirring briefly to coat onion.
  2. Add chicken stock, stirring up any chicken bits on bottom of pot, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, stir in peanut butter, peanuts, tomatoes, Tabil, cubed yam, cider vinegar and coconut milk.
  3. Simmer partially covered 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro. Pass Tabil at the table, so that guests may season to their individual tastes.


  1. Amy says:

    I made this soup years ago and I still make it today. It is fantastic – thank you for sharing it!

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