Luscious and nutty, with a touch of sweetness, creamy peanut butter gives this vegan peanut soup with broccoli and apple a rich flavor. The recipe is loosely based on Virginia peanut soup, which in turn is inspired by the West African peanut-based soups and stews brought to American shores.
Soups with a peanut butter base are ubiquitous in parts of the American South, and LiveKindly offers a brief history of peanut soup’s roots.
The original recipe, like this one, has an onion and carrot base; it’s easy to swap in vegetable broth for the customary chicken stock. Our plant-based peanut soup takes it a bit further by adding apples to the base and adding lots of broccoli.
What to serve with peanut soup
- Cornbread or corn muffins are both delicious companions to serve with this soup. Or, keep things simple by serving with fresh whole grain bread or rolls. Add a simple slaw or tossed salad.
- Serve with a hearty salad like Rice and Chickpea Salad with Spinach and Raisins or Golden and Sweet Potato Salad.
- For a delightful soup-and-sandwich meal, pair with Easy Creamy Coleslaw and Portobello Wraps.
Recipe adapted from Vegan Soups and Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large or 3 medium onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 32-ounce carton vegetable broth, or 4 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)
- 1 teaspoon good-quality curry powder
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 6 heaping cups finely chopped broccoli florets
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes, plus more to pass around
- Chopped roasted peanuts for garnish, optional
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and carrots and continue to sauté until the onions are golden.
- Add the broth or water with bouillon cubes along with the apples, salt-free seasoning, and curry powder. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the carrots and apple are tender. Remove from the heat.
- Transfer the solid ingredients from the soup to a food processor with a slotted spoon. Process until just coarsely pureed, leaving plenty of chunks of carrot. Stir the puree back into the soup pot. Or, insert an immersion blender into the pot and process until coarsely pureed.
- Add the peanut butter to the soup, about half at a time, whisking in until completely blended with the broth. Return to very low heat.
- Steam the broccoli in a saucepan with about 1/4 cup water, covered, for 5 minutes, or until brightly colored and tender-crisp to your liking. Stir into the soup.
- If the soup is too thick, add enough additional stock or water to achieve a medium-thick consistency. Stir in the lemon juice, then season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Serve at once, passing around extra red pepper flakes and chopped peanuts for topping, if desired.
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