Groundnut Soup


From Sierra Leone comes this delicious and comforting stew where peanuts are the star ingredient



When I started my new series, “Meals that Kids LOVE Around the World,” I was excited to see that I had a submission from Sierra Leone, a country whose cuisine I’ve never cooked before!

This submission for groundnut soup, aka peanut soup, comes from Nicky. Nicky was born in the Netherlands but now lives with her husband and two sons in Sierra Leone, a country in West Africa. 

In Nicky’s house, they eat a lot of this soup. Groundnut soup is called peanut soup in English, and it is actually eaten not just in Sierra Leone but all over Africa. Nicky says that each African region has its own method of preparing peanut soup. For example, in the West of Africa, where Nicky and her family live, they like the soup to be very spicy and with a blend of tomatoes.

Nicky learned about this dish when she married her husband, who belongs to one of the many ethnic groups found in Sierra Leone. Nicky says that peanut soup tastes very strongly of peanut butter and works as a vessel for whatever ingredients you want to serve with it. Usually, peanut soup is eaten as a main course and served with rice and any kind of meat. The most popular proteins in peanut soup are chicken, fish, and beef. Nicky says that if you want to trick your kids into eating vegetables, you can hide them in the warm peanut stew. 

To Nicky, this dish is so popular with kids because almost everyone loves peanuts. The flavors and ingredients are very simple, which is key for helping children to enjoy new flavors. Nicky’s two boys really love peanut soup, and they often eat it as a whole family, served with chicken and rice.

When I decided to make this dish, I wanted to see how kids really reacted to it. So, I enlisted the help of five-year-old Casey. To me, this dish tastes great. If you love peanut flavor, you will love this soup. I was a little worried when making the dish because before adding the peanut butter and stock, the dish was a strange green color. But, it turned out great in the end. Even though the dish has simple ingredients, the end product is very complex and robust. The chicken stays very moist.

Five-year-old Casey also loves this dish. When she first tried the dish, she thought putting peanut butter in a soup might be weird. But, after her first bite, she was hooked. Casey says she likes the flavor of peanut butter and rice with the crunchy textures.

Watch the Video

Groundnut Soup


  • 2-3 Tbsp oil
  • 3 chicken legs
  • 5 Tbsp peanut paste or unsalted peanut butter
  • 1 L stock
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 chili (more or less depending on how spicy you want it), chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp grated, fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 fresh tomato chopped, or 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste


  • Season chicken with black pepper and salt. Fry the chicken legs in the oil until brown. Set aside.
  • Fry the onion, chili (if using), and if you like the garlic and ginger. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Give it a stir.
  • Add stock and the peanut paste/peanut butter.
  • Let boil for 15 minutes. If soup is too runny, add more peanut paste/butter. If too thick, add some stock.
  • Boil for another 15-30 minutes, until oil comes up.
  • Add the chicken back in and boil for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve with rice and/or baked or fried plantain!
Course: Dinner
Region: Africa
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: Kid Friendly


You May Also Like


An entire bag of spinach transforms into something filling and delicious