African Bean Soup Recipe: A Flavorful Vegetarian Delight from Tunisia

African Bean Soup

African Bean Soup Recipe: A Flavorful Vegetarian Delight from Tunisia
Region / culture: Africa, Tunisia | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 2 hours | Servings: 8 | Vegetarian diet


African Bean Soup
African Bean Soup

African Bean Soup is a hearty and flavorful dish that embodies the rich culinary traditions of Africa. This soup combines the earthy tastes of black-eyed peas and navy beans with the sweetness of carrots and the nuttiness of peanuts, creating a unique and satisfying meal. Perfect for cold days or whenever you're in the mood for a comforting bowl of soup, this recipe is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.


The origins of African Bean Soup can be traced back to West Africa, where beans, peanuts, and root vegetables are staples in the diet. This soup is a testament to the ingenuity of African cooking, utilizing readily available ingredients to create a dish that is both nutritious and flavorful. Over the years, it has traveled and evolved, incorporating influences from various African cultures and regions, making it a beloved dish among many.


How to prepare

  1. Melt margarine in a large stock pot.
  2. Add carrots.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add water, black eyed peas, navy beans, green pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper. Add more water if necessary to cover the ingredients.
  5. Cook covered until the ingredients are tender, approximately 1.5 – 2 hours.
  6. Add peanuts, onion powder, basil, and coriander during the last 10 – 15 minutes of cooking.
  7. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  8. The soup should have a thick consistency.


  • For a spicier version, increase the amount of crushed red pepper or add fresh chili peppers. You can also substitute the navy beans with other beans like kidney beans or lentils for a different texture and flavor profile.
  • Add diced tomatoes for a tangy flavor.
  • Include leafy greens like spinach or kale for extra nutrients.
  • Use different beans, such as kidney beans or lentils, for variety.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your African Bean Soup turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Soak the beans overnight to reduce cooking time and make them easier to digest.

- Use a heavy-bottomed pot to prevent the ingredients from sticking and burning.

- Adjust the amount of water based on the desired thickness of the soup.

- Toast the peanuts before adding them to the soup for an extra layer of flavor.

- Don’t rush the cooking process; slow cooking allows the flavors to meld beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the African Bean Soup hot, garnished with fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley for an added burst of flavor. Accompany it with crusty bread or steamed rice for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Slow cooking is key to developing the deep flavors in African Bean Soup. Consider using a slow cooker or simmering the soup on low heat for several hours.

Ingredient Substitutions

Substitute olive oil for margarine for a different flavor profile.

- Use vegetable broth instead of water for added depth.

- Swap the navy beans for any other white beans you have on hand.

Make Ahead Tips

This soup tastes even better the next day, making it perfect for meal prep. Cook a large batch and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the soup in a hollowed-out bread bowl for an impressive presentation. Garnish with chopped peanuts and a drizzle of coconut milk for a visually appealing and tasty finish.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair African Bean Soup with a crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied beer to complement its rich flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat, adding a little water if necessary to adjust the consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of African Bean Soup contains approximately 300-400 calories, making it a hearty meal that can fit into a balanced diet.


A serving of African Bean Soup is a good source of carbohydrates, providing the energy needed to fuel your day. The beans and carrots contribute to the carbohydrate content, making this dish a satisfying meal that can help keep you full for longer periods.


The fats in this recipe come primarily from the peanuts and the margarine or soy spread. These ingredients add a richness to the soup while also contributing healthy fats that are essential for a balanced diet.


Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making African Bean Soup a great option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The addition of peanuts further boosts the protein content, aiding in muscle repair and growth.

Vitamins and minerals

This soup is packed with vitamins and minerals, thanks to its diverse ingredients. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, while beans provide iron, magnesium, and potassium. Together, these nutrients support overall health and well-being.


The primary allergen in this recipe is peanuts. Those with a peanut allergy can omit this ingredient or substitute it with another nut or seed that suits their dietary needs.


Overall, African Bean Soup is a nutritious and balanced meal, providing carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. It's a wholesome choice for anyone looking to enjoy the flavors of Africa.


African Bean Soup is a nourishing and flavorful dish that celebrates the culinary traditions of Africa. With its combination of beans, vegetables, and peanuts, it offers a balanced meal that is both satisfying and healthy. Whether you're looking to explore African cuisine or simply want a comforting bowl of soup, this recipe is sure to delight.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw this recipe for African Bean Soup. It was given to me by a dear friend who had traveled to Africa and brought back a wealth of culinary inspiration. As I read through the ingredients and instructions, I could practically taste the rich flavors and spices jumping off the page.

I had always been a lover of soup, finding comfort in a warm bowl on a chilly day. But this recipe was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It called for a unique blend of ingredients like black beans, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and a variety of spices I had never heard of. It seemed like a daunting task, but I was determined to master it.

I set out to gather all the necessary ingredients, visiting specialty stores and markets in search of the authentic African spices that would bring this soup to life. As I chopped, diced, and simmered, the aroma that filled my kitchen was intoxicating. I could feel the warmth and soul of Africa in every stir of the pot.

When the soup was finally ready, I ladled myself a bowl and took my first taste. The flavors danced on my tongue, a symphony of savory, sweet, and spicy notes that blended together perfectly. I knew then that this recipe would become a staple in my kitchen, a reminder of the beauty and diversity of the world we live in.

Over the years, I have shared this recipe with friends and family, each time adding my own twist or variation to make it my own. I have made it for gatherings, potlucks, and even just for myself on a quiet evening at home. And each time, it never fails to impress and delight those who taste it.

I have come to realize that cooking is not just about following a set of instructions, but about infusing a dish with love, passion, and creativity. It is about taking inspiration from the world around us and making it our own. This recipe for African Bean Soup has taught me that lesson in a delicious and unforgettable way.

As I look back on my journey with this recipe, I am filled with gratitude for the friend who shared it with me and the experiences it has brought into my life. It has connected me with a culture and cuisine that I may never have discovered otherwise, and has enriched my culinary repertoire in ways I never could have imagined.

And so, as I sit down to enjoy a steaming bowl of African Bean Soup once again, I am reminded of the power of food to bring people together, to create memories, and to nourish both body and soul. I am grateful for the journey that this recipe has taken me on, and I look forward to many more delicious adventures to come.


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