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African Bean Soup

Sweet potatoes and peanuts are familiar ingredients in many African cuisines. In this colorful soup they are combined with garbanzo beans and other vegetables and served over cooked rice.

While the recipe calls for the soup to be ladled over brown rice, any grain will do; think quinoa, barley, or millet. Or, serve with a slice of your favorite whole grain bread. For some heat, add a teaspoon of chili powder!


Makes 8 servings

1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 onion, sliced
2 small sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups Vegetable Broth (see recipe) or water
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, undrained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 – 2 teaspoon curry powder
4 cups cooked brown rice


Heat water and soy sauce in a large pot. Add onion and sweet potatoes or yams and cook over high heat, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

Add carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Cover and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes, broth or water, beans and their liquid, cilantro, peanut butter, and curry powder. Stir to mix, then cover and simmer until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.

To serve, place 1/2 cup of cooked rice in a bowl and top it with a generous ladle of soup.

Per serving (1 cup over a 1/2 cup of rice): 279 calories; 5.6 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 18% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 10.5 g protein; 48.9 g carbohydrates; 6.2 g sugar; 9 g fiber; 472 mg sodium; 80 mg calcium; 3.3 mg iron; 35.7 mg vitamin C; 3251 mcg beta-carotene; 1.8 mg vitamin E

Recipe from Healthy Eating for Life for Women by Kristine Kieswer; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

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