Spicy Peanut Soup
Peanuts are the basis for this velvety soup that graced Colonial tables from Georgia to Virginia. Versions of this spicy peanut soup can also be found throughout West Africa. For a tasty twist, use canned, unsweetened coconut milk instead of the half-and-half.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
1 medium celery stalk
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
1/2 cup half-and-half or unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon
Chopped dry roasted peanuts for garnish
Chop the white parts of the scallions only.
Chop and set aside the green parts of 3 scallions (for garnish).
Chop the celery.
Mince the ginger.
In a large pot over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil.
Add the chopped scallion white parts and celery to the pot.
Sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add 2 teaspoons ginger and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chicken broth.
Simmer until the broth is hot and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
For a velvety texture, strain the solids and return the liquid to the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium-low.
Add the peanut butter, half-and-half, and cayenne pepper; stir to blend.
Simmer until the soup is heated through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Don’t let the soup boil to prevent the half-and-half from curdling.
Season with salt to taste.
Serve, garnished with peanuts and the reserved scallion greens.