West African Peanut Stew with Kale

Our sister-in-law made this deliciously comforting West African Peanut Stew with Kale on a recent visit to New Haven, and I have been craving it non-stop ever since. The taste and smell of garlic, ginger and peanuts will warm you on these crisp fall days. This simple and hearty vegetarian take on the classic West African peanut stew uses pantry ingredients and works well with whatever greens you happen to have on hand. This recipe is adapted from Cookie and Kate and Devra Gartenstein.

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Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste (1 six-ounce can)
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (can use natural or sweetened)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
  • 5-6 cups cooked rice, for serving


  1. Add butter to a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, ginger and salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the onions have softened. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the chicken broth, peanut butter and whisk together in the pot until smooth. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes uncovered. Add the cayenne and taste for flavor, adding additional salt or cayenne to taste. You can puree the stew at this point to achieve a smoother texture if you would prefer. Add the chopped kale and remove the stew from the heat. 
  4. Serve the stew with rice and topped with peanuts. We like this stew with black or wild rice.