African Peanut Stew

by Brenda Langton, Tastemaker in Residence - Prices estimated by Beth Moncel and MCFM staff

Recipe and photo from, a recipe blog showcasing affordable, scratch cooking. Total Cost: $12.32; cost per serving: $2.05; serves: 6 (1.5 cups each). Prices estimated by recipe author Beth Moncel and MCFM staff. For a heartier stew, add a scoop of rice or 1-2 cups cooked chicken.

1 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.02
4 cloves garlic $0.50
1 inch fresh ginger $0.50
1 medium (1 lb.) sweet potato, regular potato or turnip $2
1 medium onion $2
1 tsp cumin $0.10
¼ tsp crushed red pepper $0.02
1 (6oz.) can tomato paste $0.75
½ cup natural style chunky peanut butter $0.93
6 cups broth $4
½ bunch (2-3 cups chopped) collard greens, mustard greens or kale $1.50
¼ bunch cilantro, garnish (optional)
½ cup chopped peanuts, garnish (optional)


  1. Peel and grate the ginger using a small holed cheese grater. Mince the garlic. Sauté the ginger and garlic in vegetable oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic becomes soft and fragrant.
  2. Dice the onion, add it to the pot, and continue to sauté. Dice the sweet potato (1/2 inch cubes), add it to the pot, and continue to sauté a few minutes more, or until the onion is soft and the sweet potato takes on a darker, slightly translucent appearance. Season with cumin and red pepper flakes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and peanut butter, and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Add the vegetable broth and stir to dissolve the thick tomato paste-peanut butter mixture. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to high.
  4. While the soup is coming up to a boil, prepare the collard greens. Rinse the greens well, then use a sharp knife to remove each stem (cut along the side of each stem). Stack the leaves, then cut them into thin strips. Add the collard strips to the soup pot.
  5. Once the soup reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer without a lid for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very soft. Once soft, smash about half of the sweet potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to help thicken the soup. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (will depend on the brand of broth used).
  6. Serve the stew over rice with a few cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts, if desired.