Peanut Stew — made with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, collard greens, diced tomatoes, and warming spices — is the perfect antidote for cold winter days. It's inspired by the West African dish groundnut stew or peanut soup. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
I've stated my indifference to soup quite a few times in past blog posts. And each time I do, I note that the recipe I'm writing about is the exception to the rule. That's a lot of exceptions! I've come to realize that I'm not a fan of brothy soups with a handful of veggies floating around. I do like hearty, creamy soups and thick, "stick to your ribs" stews, especially when they're made with beans, greens, and starchy vegetables. Bonus points for soups made with coconut milk and peanut butter.
I created this recipe several years ago for a Rouxbe project a few years ago. The assignment was to create a dish with international flavors. I went with an African-inspired stew, mainly because I was craving something with spicy peanut butter.
In African cooking, peanuts (which they call groundnuts) are often ground into a paste and added to stews to thicken them. I used store-bought natural creamy peanut butter in my stew to thicken it, because grinding peanuts doesn't seem like much fun.
It was the middle of summer when I did the assignment for Rouxbe. Definitely not stew season! Since then, it's become a cold-weather favorite in my house. This dish goes great with a bowl of cooked brown rice, but it's a hearty meal all on its own too. If you happen to have berbere on hand, add a pinch or two for a little extra flavor.
How To Make Peanut Stew
This recipe is super easy to make!
- First you cook the onion in a large pot over medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes until it's fragrant and golden.
- Next you add the spices, chili, and tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Then you mix together the vegetable stock, coconut milk, and peanut butter. You add it to the pot along with the chickpeas, diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and collard greens.
- You turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the stew to a boil. Then reduce the heat and allow your stew to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring it occasionally.
- Once the stew is cooked, top it with cilantro and peanuts, and serve it over brown rice, if you wish.
How to Customize Your Peanut Stew
You can easily play with this recipe to make it your own!
- Instead of chickpeas, you can use kidney or cannellini beans.
- If you have a peanut allergy, you can use almond butter or cashew butter.
- Other types of leafy greens, such as chard or spinach, can be used in the place of collard greens.
- The chili and cayenne can be omitted if you're sensitive to heat.
- If you happen to have berbere on hand, you can add a pinch or two for a little extra flavor.
Chickpea Peanut Stew
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- Sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green chili minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup creamy, natural peanut butter
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed about 1 ¾ cups
- 14-ounce can can diced tomatoes with their juices, about 2 cups
- 1 large sweet potato diced, about 2 cups
- 1 medium bunch collard greens stems removed and coarsely chopped, about 3 cups
- 6 cups cooked brown rice optional, for serving
- ¼ cup peanuts chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook it for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. It should be fragrant and golden.
- Add garlic, green chili, ginger, cumin, cayenne, coriander, and tomato paste to the pot and stir everything together. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the mixture is fragrant.
- While the vegetables are cooking, whisk together the vegetable stock, coconut milk and peanut butter. Add the mixture to the pot along with the chickpeas, tomatoes, sweet potato and collard greens. Turn the heat up to medium-high.
- Bring the stew up to a quick boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Give it a good stir every so often.
- The stew is done when the sweet potatoes are tender and the liquid has thickened.
- Serve over brown rice, if desired, and top with the chopped peanuts and cilantro.