Virginia Peanut Soup

This soup is a Virginia classic. Sounds a little strange at first…but could not be more delicious. Especially on a cold-weather day (or night). Pure peanut decadence!

VIRGINIA PEANUT SOUP

3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock or two 14 1/2 ounce cans Chicken Broth
2 Stalks finely diced Celery
1 Medium Carrot
1 Onion, finely chopped
1/4 Cup crushed peanuts, lightly toasted
1 Cup creamy Peanut Butter (natural, high quality)
13 ounces light cream, or 8 0z. whole milk, + 5 oz. Half & Half
2 teas. corn starch (to thicken)
Salt, pepper, sugar – dash of each, or to taste
Scallions, finely chopped (optional)

In large sauce pan saute celery, carrot and onion in approx. 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter until super tender. Add stock to pan, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or more. Very gradually, whisk in softened peanut butter, stirring constantly until smooth. Add milk and spices. Heat without boiling then strain. Discard softened vegetables. Dissolve corn starch in cool water until it forms a slurry. Slowly dribble into strained soup, wisking constantly over low heat until coming to a slight boil and showing a thickness. Simmer 2 more minutes. Pour into warm bowls and top with a dollop of creme fraiche and ground peanuts.  A few finely diced scallions only add to the deliciousness!

While this dish is super-rich, and I promote healthy eating, remember, a little of this goes a long way. Enjoy in moderation!

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