SEASON chicken with pepper and salt. Heat oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until softened. Add 1/2 of the garlic and ginger, and red pepper; cook and stir 1 minute or until fragrant.
STIR in stock, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, coconut milk, peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of the thyme. Bring to boil. Cook 25 to 30 minutes or until reduced by 1/3. Reduce heat to low. Add sweet potato, chicken, remaining garlic and ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining thyme. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until sweet potato is tender.
TO SERVE, ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon thyme.