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.
- 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.