Vegetarian African food comes in so many different colors. But the rich, red stews take the cup for me. Paired with a contrasting white rice or fufu? Oh goodness, give it here! Congolese food recipes like Soya ya moambe bring up this feeling. Some traditional African foods have Portuguese and French influences, and moambe is one of them. An affordable, nourishing, and delicious red stew that can’t be left out of this African food exploration journey. Let’s take a look at moambe!

soya ya moambe Congolese food. Congolese food recipes can amplify vegetarian African food. Start with Moambe, one of the traditional African foods for your bucket list.
soya ya moambe Congolese food

What is Moambe?

Moambe is an affordable key ingredient in many Congolese food recipes. Also called muamba, moambé, or mwamba, it is palm butter or palm cream. Not to be confused with palm oil. Sources say it is made from the pericarp of palm nuts. Palm oil is made from the mesocarp of the fruit. But it too is used in many traditional African foods. For example, Liberian red palm oil soup

muamba nsusu mwamba, are the names use to call Congolese peanut soup. These are the  ingredients.
Muamba nsusu mwamba ingredients

The versatility of vegetarian African food

Like many of our beloved recipes, Soya ya moambe is versatile. And all versions are easy to make! Traditionally, this dish is made with chicken, but can also be made with meat like beef or lamb. But, as we are Humble Vege, it will be made with soya as a meat alternative. 

Congolese food recipes use the names moambe and mwamba more. The recipe has the basics of onions, palm butter, and some cayenne pepper and nutmeg with your tomato sauce. But vegetarian African food likes to dress up for the occasion. You’ll find some recipes with peanut butter, which pairs well with palm butter recipes. History says that Moambe actually got its name from ‘mwamba’ meaning peanut sauce! You might also find the peanut butter version more under the name Moambe nsusu. Although in Kikongo, nsusu means chicken. 

Congolese food vegetarian mwamba using soya chunks and bell peppers.
Congolese-mwamba making with Soya chunks

Moambe is a national dish in Congo, but also in Congo’s neighbor to the southwest: Angola. There, it is known as muamba de galinha. To Congo’s West we also have Gabon. There, it is popularly called poulet nyembwe. Although they are traditional African foods, they hold influences of their countries, making them different. Almost like Jollof rice. You’ll find the Ghana version, Nigerian version, and more. But they are all great. We aren’t about to dive into that debate on which is better! But comment your opinion below, if you dare. 

Nutrition in moambé as a vegetarian African food 

As stated before, moambé is typically made with chicken. This provides protein. But Soya ya moambe maintains the nourishing nutrition levels. All while making the dish vegetarian and even more affordable than it already is. I kid you not, you’ll get more meals out of a packet of soya chunks than out of a full chicken, and for a third of the price! And paired with muamba, this dish gives you much needed vitamins such as vitamin E and A. Check out this article on Abenkwan palm nut soup to find out more about the benefits of palm butter. 

Red goodness is within reach

To be honest, when I hear ‘traditional’ sometimes I think LABOR! But Congolese food recipes like these prove that you can get an affordable and easy to cook meal that is still yummy. Best believe Humble Vege has more recipes like this for you. Subscribe, and get all the updates on more traditional African foods! Curious about a no-meat food lifestyle? Check out our Instagram page for real-life inspirations 😊.


Congolese Soya Ya Mwemba

Yield: 3.5
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes

This is unlike any other West African peanut soup you've ever had! Why? It is enriched with Congolese balancing approach to food, which adds texture to the flavors.


  • Desired amount of soy chunks
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Quarter red bell pepper
  • Quarter green pepper
  • Quarter red onion dice
  • 3 TBSP Peanut butter
  • 3 ounce spinach
  • 1 tsp Salt & 1/4tsp Salt
  • 1 veggie cube
  • 3 TBSP Oil
  • 1 cup and 3/4cups of water


Start by adding oil to mid-size pot on low to medium heat. Add in onion and cook for 2mins than add in bell peppers and cook for 3mins.muamba-nsusu-mwamba-ingredients_humblevege

Next add your soya chunks and cook for 3 mins on low heat. After that, turn heat to med-low and add 2 cups of water. Congolese-food-vegetarian-mwamba_humblevege

Add in the bay leaves and veggie cube after you've added the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add in the peanut butter. Stir to combine. Cook on medium-low for 15-20 minutes until the Congolese stew consistency is like gravy (light) or porridge (thicker). The thickness will depend on how you like your stews.

Following that, add in the salt, but start with 1 teaspoon first and then add more (1/4 tsp) if needed.

Lastly, add in the spinach and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 2 mins and turn off the heat after that.moambe-congolese-peanut-soup_humblevege

Enjoy! You can eat this stew as-is or with Congolese semoule fufu (recommended).Congolese-fufu-semoule-recette_humblevege

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