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Surinamese Peanut Soup Recipe


Surinamese Peanut Soup Recipe

Surinamese Peanut Soup

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
This spicy peanut soup, a favorite in the former Dutch colony of Suriname, is a hearty bowlful of a meal. We first encountered the soup at a delightful soup restaurant in Amsterdam, owned by a Surinamese woman who is every bit as warm and charming as her best-selling peanut soup. We won't pretend that this is an authentic recipe - it's simply our attempt at copying the flavors of one of our most beloved soups from the New Dutch Kitchen with easy-to-find ingredients that won't require trekking to a specialist shop to find exotic spices and seasonings.

We like to use chicken stock and leftover cooked chicken, which we flake and add to the soup towards the end, but you could just as easily turn this into a vegetarian or vegan soup by using vegetable stock and leaving out the chicken, adding tofu or corn instead. If you'd like to amp up the spiciness factor, you could forego regular red chili pepper and use an authentic Madame Jeanette pepper instead. Madame Jeanette is a small chili pepper native to Suriname, known for its Habanero-like heat. In fact, this small pepper has a whopping 100,000–350,000 Scoville heat units.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 large floury potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4¼ cups (1 l) chicken stock
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup (150 g) peanut butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery leaf or flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup rice
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts (about 7 oz/200 g), flaked
  • ¼ cucumber, washed and finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch coriander leaf, washed and roughly chopped
  • A stick blender


Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over a medium heat. Add the onion and potato cubes and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, chili pepper and cayenne pepper, stirring a few times. Now add the stock, cloves and the bay leaf and bring to a boil.

When the pototoes have softened (prick with a fork to test: it should take about 10 minutes), add the peanut butter and celery leaf or parsley and stir until the peanut butter has dissolved. Using a stick blender, blend the soup until smooth.

Add the rice and allow the soup to simmer over a low heat for a few minutes until the rice has cooked through (about 10 minutes). Add the bean sprouts and the flaked chicken breast (if using) and allow to warm through. Season to taste.

Scatter the chopped coriander leaves and cucumber slices over the soup just before you're ready to dish up. Serve steaming bowls of Surinamese Peanut Soup with roti flatbread, large chunks of crusty white bread or hearty whole grain bread.

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