Peanut Soup

Peanut soup is found here and there around the South–especially the Carolinas. We don’t see it very much around New Orleans, but every now and then somebody asks me for a recipe. This recipe comes from the kitchen of my sister Lynn Fleetwood, a pretty good cook herself. The critical points in making a good peanut soup are to balance off the bitter aspect of the nuts with richness (cream, here) and spice.

Peanut soup.

  • 1 lb. dry-roasted peanuts
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 tsp. curry powder (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 2 cup half-and-half cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dashes Tabasco
  • 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro

1. Grind the peanuts in a blender, a few at a time, until they’re mealy–about like grits. (Do not overgrind into peanut butter.)

2. Heat the stock in a large saucepan. Stir in onion, ground peanuts, and curry powder. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and hold there for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Strain the soup and puree the solids in the blender, adding a little of the broth to make it smooth. Return the puree to the broth in a saucepan over low heat.

4. In a bowl, stir the cornstarch into the half-and-half, then stir it into the soup. Cook, stirring, until the soup is thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco.

5. Cook a few minutes longer. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve very hot.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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