Spicy Sweet Potato, Black Bean, & Peanut Butter Soup

I was looking for a sweet potato soup recipe and ended up settling on this one because it incorporates chillies & peanut butter – staple foods as far as I’m concerned.  Here’s the link to the original.  I’ve pasted the recipe below, and am including some of my own notes here.  A seriously great meal for colder months… like June in San Francisco.  :)

My notes:

  • I ended up using a yam because my tiny local grocer didn’t have the orange-fleshed sweet potato.  Worked fine for me.
  • I used canned black beans because I decided to make this last-minute and didn’t have time to soak beans overnight.  If you use canned beans, rinse & drain them to get rid of the excess starch and salt
  • I was a little overzealous with the dried chillies and it turned out too spicy for my friend.  To mellow it out I added half of a can of lite coconut milk… makes it just a little richer, but didn’t add too much of a sweet, coconutty flavor
  • I topped it with black sesame seeds because I had them and they added a nice crunch
  • I think it makes more than 6 servings… I’ve been eating the leftovers for days.  Reheats nicely.  :)

Original recipe:

Spicy Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup with Black Beans


1 cup dried black beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large carrot, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb.), peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon dried hot red chili flakes, or to taste
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper
small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Rinse the beans and soak overnight covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain, place in a medium saucepan, and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl around to coat the pan. Add the carrot, onion and garlic and sauté until the onions turn translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes. Turn up the heat slightly and toss in the sweet potato and chili flakes. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add the tomato and cook until the tomato has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock and water and bring to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the peanut butter and beans and let simmer for another 5 minutes to let the peanut butter melt into the soup and to warm the beans. Remove from heat, and season with salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper.

Serve hot with a sprinkling of parsley for garnish. Serves 6.


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