Carla's African Groundnut Soup

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“Carla's winning dish from Top Chef All Stars. I love Top Chef, but it's rare to see a vegetarian dish (unless the challenge is to cook for a vegetarian and then all the chefs complain), much less a vegetarian dish that wins. Got the recipe on Bravo's website. I'm putting it here for safekeeping. I have o idea how many this serves or how long it takes, so I guessed.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 tablespoons cumin (ground)
  • 1 14 tablespoons coriander (ground)
  • 5 tablespoons chermoula, spice blend
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 6 inches piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes (fire roasted)
  • 4 quarts vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes
  • cold-pressed peanut oil, to toss
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup peanut butter, fresh and unsalted
  • 1 lb adzuki beans, cooked in water with 2 bay leaves until tender
  • 2 poblano peppers, roasted peeled and diced
  • 3 red peppers, roasted peeled and diced
  • 10 plum tomatoes, roasted peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch mint
  • lime zest, to taste
  • 1 cup peanuts, roughly chopped (salted & roasted)
  • 14 cup sea salt
  • 1 lime wedge, per serving juiced per serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Heat large pot on high heat. Pour in peanut oil, and then add onions. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, then add garlic and ginger. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until soft and translucent, another 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in half of spice mixture, salt to taste and stir until mixed well. Pour in crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 1 hour. Strain broth, then puree solids with 2-3 cups of broth until very smooth. Strain through fine strainer.
  4. While broth is simmering, reserve 2 sweet potatoes for garnish and dice.
  5. remaining potatoes into 1/4” pieces. Toss in peanut oil, salt and pepper, and roast in 425 degree oven until just tender. Set aside to cool.
  6. Place peanut butter into medium bowl and slowly whisk in 1-2 cups of broth until mixture is smooth. Pour mixture back into pot with broth.
  7. Toss together cooked beans, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, parsley and mint. Season with salt, spice mixture and lime zest to taste.
  8. In shallow bowl, pour broth, then spoon vegetable mixture into the center.
  9. Garnish with chopped peanuts, lime juice, lime salt (zest of 2 limes mixed with ¼ cup Malden sea salt), and sweet potato chips. (Cut whole sweet potatoes into ½“ thick pieces. Use peeler to make thin ribbons. Fry in 300 degree canola oil. Salt to taste.).

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