Virginia Peanut Soup with Coconut Milk

This is an interesting take on traditional Virginia peanut soup for those who enjoy the flavor of coconut and like a slightly Oriental twist. Delicious!

Virginia Peanut Soup with Coconut Milk

Heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in pot, add 1 cup finely chopped celery and 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions. Saute, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until translucent and soft. Add 3 tablespoons flour to pan. Brown flour slightly to make roux. Stir in 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or a little more if you like it spicy!) and 1 tablespoon tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Mix well, then transfer to a blender; add 1 additional cup broth and puree until smooth. Return mixture to pot. Pour in one 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk. Use “lite” if you prefer. Grate approx 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root into soup.  Soy sauce to taste.  Bring to boil, cut off heat, then add 2 – 3 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice. 

Top with fresh scallions, chopped peanuts and cilantro (if you’re a fan). The lemon/lime really is the key to this dish. Great served with, or before, a Thai or Vietnamese dinner. Or for lunch, with a spring roll…and appropriate beverage!

(This recipe is based upon one first published by Asian Coconut Milk)

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