Recipe: Ethiopian-style Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup with Chile & Lime

A Carbo-Loading Recipe to Fuel Your Race Day
April 18, 2014

Ethiopians run phenomenally fast! The secret? Well, along with a strong running tradition and the obvious genetic predisposition, one major factor is the unprocessed and highly-nutritious Ethiopian diet - athletes may have heard of Teff, or Injera, the wholesome Ethiopian grain so beloved of our great world marathon champ, Haile Gebrselassie.

Surprisingly, peanuts are also commonly found in Ethiopian recipes, especially in soups and stews. Crunchy and loaded with protein, vitamin E, and unsaturated fats, they taste just great in this energy-boosting superfood combo of sweet potatoes, lime and chile. An excellent veggie option, it’s also the perfect pre-race food, packed with slow-release carbohydrates to sustain you through your training or to load up in the days before a race. Check out the recipe for Ethiopian Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup with Chile and Lime below. You should be able to find the Ethiopian berbere spice in the supermarket; it’s a fiery blend of chile and spices and well-worth adding to your cupboard.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients for the Ethiopian-style Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup to serve 4 :

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 600g) peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp berbere spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 small fresh red chile pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 liter hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter (natural, unsweetened)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)


  1. Heat the coconut oil or butter under a low heat in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion for a few minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato, the celery, the berbere spice and the ground ginger and sauté for a further minute or two.
  3. Add the chile pepper and 1 tbsp of the peanut butter.
  4. Stir in the hot stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.
  5. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth.
  6. Pour back into the saucepan; add the lime juice, salt and black pepper.
  7. Finally, stir in the remaining tablespoon of peanut butter, making sure that it is well-combined into the soup.
  8. Serve in warmed soup bowls, sprinkled with the cilantro and the chopped peanuts and eat with a hunk of warm, wholewheat bread.


Kate Percy

Running, Triathlon
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Nutrition for Ethiopian Soup

  • 313Cal
  • 44
  • 10g
  • 11g
  • 1g
  • 9g