Mamta's Kitchen

Peanut Soup From Bolivia

Moongphali ka Soup

Mamta Gupta

This is a South American soup we first tasted on our visit to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia in 1987. We had just crossed the lake, it was late afternoon, we were tired and starving. We walked into a small village restaurant on its shore, which was quite empty at the time. After some negotiations by our guide, we were offered a meal, starting with a delicious peanut soup. We all loved it, especially the girls. We asked our guide to get the recipe for me. This was long before mamtaskitchen was even an idea! The owner told me roughly what went in it and how he made it, with our guide as our interpreter. After some experimentation (there was no Google to help ten!), I managed to get it right. I have cooked it for our family ever since.

This is a poor man's soup, made of whatever is available, things like tomatoes, peas, potatoes, onions, slightly stale salad vegetables and so on. It never tastes quite the same twice. I often serve it with a dash of chilli sauce.

It is almost fat free, except a little oil in peanuts.

Serves 4-6


  • A good handful of uncooked, shelled peanuts Most Indian grocers will stock them.

  • 1-2 tbsp. rice

  • 1 onion peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 medium carrot or any vegetable that you have lying around in the house, peeled and chopped.

  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped

  • 1 litre chicken or vegetarian stock

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • A small bunch of parsley or green coriander or basil, washed and chopped finely, for garnish

  • Optional; 1 cup or small carton of cream/thick yoghurt


  1. Make stock. You can use stock/cubes or it can be made by boiling any meat bones/leftover vegetable and washed vegetable peelings, fish heads etc.

  2. Boil all the vegetables, rice and peanuts in half the stock, until vegetables are tender and rice is cooked.

  3. Add salt and pepper.

  4. Allow it to cool a little and blend coarsely; grainy consistency tastes better than a smooth soup.

  5. Add remainder of the stock and adjust the seasoning.

  6. Add half the garnish and stir. Serve in bowls.

  7. Sprinkle the remaining garnish and add a dollop of cream/yoghurt on top of each soup bowl. Give the cream a little swirl with the tip of a spoon or fork.

  8. Serve with any fresh bread of choice.

  9. Also see Soup Selection.

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