Sierra Leone- Groundnut Soup Recipe

Sierra Leone Groundnut Soup

This is a simple, delicious recipe for groundnut soup, a very typical dish in Sierra Leone. The recipe was recommended by my friend Mahmud, who comes from Sierra Leone. We met in Siena, Italy during a Vaccinology course in 2019. Luckily at that time we were all still able to travel internationally! I based the recipe on one from Feel Good Foodie. However, Mahmud recommended to leave the sweet potato out, as adding it would make it stew rather than soup. Additionally, I added a tip on how to make your own peanut butter quickly in case you cannot find one without sugar.

The flavours are simple and the ginger and onion complement the peanuts well. The cayenne pepper adds a subtle spice, and this can be adjusted to taste. Also, if you are vegetarian you could just leave out the chicken as there is plenty of protein with the nuts. Interestingly, the soup is served with rice, which reminded me of stew. I would definitely recommend this recipe for groundnut soup to warm up on a winter day. This was a chance to travel through food since I have yet to visit Sierra Leone!

Sierra Leone Groundnut Soup, frying onions and ginger
Frying onions and ginger
Sierra Leone Groundnut Soup, added tomato paste
Added tomato paste


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 oz (85 g) tomato paste
6 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or add more to taste)
1 c. natural crunchy peanut butter (peanuts and salt only)
2 chicken breasts, boiled then shredded
1/2 c crushed roasted peanuts


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. First, add onions and ginger, and cook for 5-10 minute until onions are translucent.

Next, add tomato paste and mix in with the onions and ginger. Season with cayenne pepper and salt. Then pour the vegetable broth into the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Then stir in the peanut butter until it is well-blended. Finally, add the shredded chicken, and stir to combine. Then serve over white rice with crushed peanuts.

Note if you can’t find plain peanut butter, then you can buy plain peanuts, roast them and then blend them in a food processor. Add a bit of salt and oil only if it is too thick to blend.

Sierra Leone Groundnut Soup, Roasting peanuts
Roasting peanuts
Sierra Leone Groundnut Soup, added chicken
Added chicken, almost done

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  1. Mahmud Sheku

    Hello Lianna,

    It was a nice meeting with you in Siena, Italy and thanks for the lectures in Epidemiology.

    I am happy that you are able to travel to Sierra Leone through food and I can see that you prepared a delicious gnut soup. Please introduce to families and friends so that they also get to taste Sierra Leone gnut soup.

    I hope to welcome you in Sierra Leone some day.

    Stay safe, stay bless.

    1. hi Mahmud,
      It was very nice to meet you in Siena!
      Thank you very much for sharing a recipe of the groundnut soup. I have shared it with family and friends, and some of my friends in London were able to taste it. I hope one day I can visit Sierra Leone.
      Best wishes to you, Lianna

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