Virginia Peanut Soup

Peanuts in shells

Admittedly rich, this traditional Southern-style peanut soup has an intense and unusual flavor. Adapted from Great American Vegetarian by Nava Atlas. 

Serves: 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large celery stalks, finely diced
  • 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (one 32-ounce container or homemade)
  • A few grains of cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped roasted peanuts for garnish, optional
  • Minced fresh parsley for garnish

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and wine. Sauté over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden.

Sprinkle in the flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the entire mixture begins to turn a light golden brown.

Add the stock and bring to a rapid simmer. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon the peanut butter into the pot and whisk it in briskly until blended with the liquid.

Stir in the rice milk and season with salt and pepper. Simmer very gently for another 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or so to allow the flavors to blend, then heat through as needed. Garnish each serving with some chopped peanuts and parsley if desired.

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