The Virginia Peanut Soup Recipe is a popular African cuisine, often made as a purée with peanut butter as the main ingredient. The peanut soup was then popularized in America after the Civil War, and is especially popular in Virginia because of the abundance of peanuts. In fact, if you visit Virginia today, it’s impossible not to come across Colonial Williamsburg, the town’s very own living-history museum. People go to King’s Arms Tavern just to get a taste of the soup. And like always, we’re making our version of the dish so you can try it without going to the museum yourself!

There are a couple of things we’d like you to note before starting this recipe. First, you want to warm this dish over low to medium heat only. We want to prevent the soup from boiling as much as possible. Second, chopped onions and celery adds more texture. But this is optional. Finally, adding a tablespoon of lemon juice gives out a nice zing and will awaken all the flavors together.

The Virginia Peanut Soup Recipe has the same ingredients as the West African Peanut Stew. However, the latter is thicker, and often paired with either rice or a healthy portion of collard greens. The Virginia Peanut Soup, on the other hand, is often served as an appetizer. Looking for more soup recipes? Check out our Cheesy Asparagus Soup Recipe for another healthy dish.

Virginia Peanut Soup Recipe

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Preparation: 20 mins
Cooking: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Serves: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 red onion small, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cups chicken stock low-salt (or beef bouillon)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup half and half (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottom pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter on medium-low heat. Add chopped red onions and chopped celery ribs. Stir for about 10 minutes until onions and celery are translucent.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of crunchy peanut butter. Stir ingredients until it forms a smooth consistency. Then, add 1 ½ teaspoon brown sugar.

  3. Pour in the chicken stock and add a squeeze (about 1 tablespoon) of lemon juice then bring to a boil. As an optional ingredient, you can also add half and half for a thicker texture.

  4. Serve in a bowl. Garnish with chopped peanuts.

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Commonly Asked Questions

Can I make the soup creamier?

Absolutely! To achieve a creamier soup, add 1 cup of half and half light cream. This brings it to about 400 calories per serving. However, if you are aiming for a healthier vegetarian snack, substitute chicken stock with plain water, remove the cream, and it will taste just as good.

How can I make the soup smoother?

Some of you might prefer a smoother, silkier soup. If this is the case, run the soup through a sieve to catch the chunkier peanut pieces. You can also use a hand-held stick blender, a food processor, or a blender to puree the soup.

Should I use salted or unsalted butter in the recipe?

When using peanut butter in any dish, we always recommend finding the unsalted one. This is the same when using butter so that you can control the amount of sodium or saltiness of the dish. It’s better to add some more salt later than having to up your servings to balance it out.

How long can I store Virginia Peanut Soup in the fridge?

Sometimes, we do find ourselves accidentally cooking a bigger batch than necessary. If you have hefty leftovers, no worries, the Virginia Peanut Soup dish can last up to 3-4 days. But we don’t recommend that you freeze them as the cream base can break when thawed. Just put them in a seal-tight container and placed in the lower section of your fridge. Reheat before serving.

peanut soup recipe

Conclusion

Creamy or not, spicy or just a little bit, this Virginia Peanut Soup is perfect to eat as an appetizer, or a light snack on a lazy afternoon. Put this recipe to the test and let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you in comments below.