East African Vegetable Soup with Nuts and Sweet Potatoes

This is a substantial soup and for those who think that soups are "not a meal" (like my dear father), think again because with all these ingredients you can't help but feel satisfied and full. This soup is very healthy and contains tomatoes, ginger, sweet potatoes, peanuts and more. The ingredients list is like a who's who of East-African food items! I love African food, especially East-African and I have travelled quite a bit through many of its countries, especially Kenya where I have been to several times. I have always eaten no less than excellent food, whether home cooked or in a restaurant. My first thoughts of Kenyan/African food (before I travelled there) was very skewed and I thought "hmmm, what do they eat over there...boiled maize and goats perhaps?". How wrong was I!!! My brother had actually told me that the food was excellent, even for vegetarians but I just could not get my head around that. How often do you hear of culinary wonders from East-Africa? Well not often and it is such a shame. The soup is easy to make because you only need to chop up the vegetables coarsely and then dump them in the food processor once cooked.

Note that if you don't have a food processor you can use a blender or a hand blender.

Note also that you will need a fairly large saucepan (at least 3 litres (102 fluid oz))

East-African soups are full of flavours and often slightly sweet

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Vegan

East African Vegetable Soup with Nuts and Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4


  • 20 grams (¾ oz) cashew nuts (unsalted), toasted
  • 1 onion, chopped coarsely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped coarsely
  • A small piece fresh ginger (similar to a grape in size), peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 large carrot, chopped coarsely
  • 450 grams (15¾ oz) sweet potatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 250 grams (8¾ oz) tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 750 millilitres (26¾ fluid oz) water
  • 1 yeast free vegetable stock cube
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter without sugar


  1. Heat a small frying pan until very hot.
  2. Add cashew nuts and toast for 5 minutes, move the nuts around with a wooden spoon so they will not burn.
  3. Peel 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves and 2 grams ginger and chop coarsely. Set a side.
  4. Chop 450 grams sweet potatoes, 200 grams tomatoes and 1 carrot coarsely. Set a side.
  5. Heat a 3 litre sauce pan to medium heat.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
  7. Heat chopped onion for 10 minutes or until it starts to smell quite nicely.
  8. Add 3 tablespoons water.
  9. Add the chopped garlic and ginger, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if used), 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon ground cloves. Heat for 5 minutes and stir frequently. There should be quite a spicy and delicious aroma!
  10. Add chopped tomatoes, sweet potatoes and carrot to the saucepan. Heat for 5 minutes.
  11. Add 750 millilitres water and the vegetable stock cube. Stir for 1 minute.
  12. Bring to a boil, season with salt and keeping the heat low, let the soup barely simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  13. Turn the heat off and allow the soup to cool for 30 minutes.
  14. Pour half the amount into a food processor or blender along with the cashew nuts and peanut butter. Blend for 15 seconds or until the consistency is fairly thick without many lumps. Set aside in a big bowl and repeat with the remaining soup.
  15. Next, pour all the blended soup into the saucepan and re-heat until piping hot.
  16. Serve with bread.


  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.           
  • You can use regular stock cubes instead of yeast free ones.
  • You can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock.       
  • The soup can be frozen and reheated later.   
  • For a coarser soup with lumps and bumps blend for only 5 seconds.
  • You can use tinned, chopped tomatoes instead of fresh ones.