Posts Tagged peanut soup
Peanut soup is one of those odd little Southern dishes that always baffles people when I tell them about it. I haven’t seen it on a menu in many, many years, but when I was kid we used to get it at a little restaurant about an hour south of my house, on our way to or from Williamsburg. Looking at a map now I wonder why we didn’t take the interstate and get there a heck of a lot faster, but then we wouldn’t have taken the ferry or stopped off for peanut soup, so I guess I’m glad my folks didn’t opt for the highway. The restaurant was unfortunately rather run down the last time I was there, and I’m sad to say the last time I ordered peanut soup there it was cold and disappointing.
I was determined to make peanut soup for myself.
This recipe is not an attempt at duplicating the one I grew up with – that soup was made with heavy cream, and more than a little salty, and was probably thickened quite a bit with flour. Instead, this is a light, slightly spicy dish that is merely reminiscent of my childhood treat.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 poblano pepper
- 2 shallots
- 3 ribs of celery
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
- 1 cup half and half
Vegetable oil will work just fine; I used sesame because its flavor goes so well with peanuts, and it brings out a more Asian feel to the flavors in the soup.
Pour your oil in the bottom of a stock pot or large saucepan.
Remove the stem and seeds from the pepper and dice it. You can use a hotter pepper than the poblano if you prefer; I thought the piquancy of the poblano was just right. Add the pepper to the oil.
Mince the shallots and add them to the oil and pepper. Cut the celery into 1/4″ crescents and toss that in as well.
Bring the oil and aromatics up to high heat, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly browned.
Add the broth, bay leaf, and black pepper. Simmer for 25-3o minutes.
Strain out the aromatics and return the broth to the pot. Maintaining medium heat, add the peanut butter a little at a time and stir until melted.
Remove from heat and add the half and half.
Serve with a good piece of bread. I can’t take too much credit for the bread I served with ours – it was a boxed mix from IKEA that I wanted to try, but it sure was tasty.