Hotel Roanoke Peanut Soup
I live very close to Roanoke, Virginia and I have eaten at The Hotel Roanoke on many occasions. Peanut Soup is a very southern thing, and I wanted to share the hotel’s recipe. I could have researched and fine tuned my own recipe. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The hotel has been making this soup since the 1940’s. Sometime in the 1950’s they figured out that the soup had become a hit. They realized the public relations value of this, and began disseminating the recipe far and wide. Since then the soup has been widely written about. If you visit Roanoke you should try it.
The Hotel Roanoke recipe for this dish stands above anything else I have tasted. There are others to be sure, but none is better, and it doesn’t get any simpler than this. Some stock, a few veggies and peanut butter. That’s it.
Origins of Peanut Soup
Peanut soup originally came from West Africa. It was referred to as “Maafe”. The first mention of it in America comes from a 1700’s low country cook book entitled “The Carolina Housewife”. There were also references to peanut soup in the cookery of colonial Williamsburg. For a time it was known as “Tuskegee soup”, named for George Washington Carver and his famous experiments with peanuts.
Rich and Creamy Elegance
The West African version has a tomato base, and there are cream versions of this as well. But as I stated, why mess with the tried and true. To me there is very little that is as satisfying or as rich and creamy as Hotel Roanoke peanut soup. Add some roasted chopped peanuts as a garnish for that extra crunch. You could serve this as a first course for an elegant dinner party, or just with a sandwich for lunch. This is definitely worth your effort. Enjoy!
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Small Onion, diced
- 2 Celery Stalks, diced
- 3 Tablespoons All-Pupose Flour
- 2 Quarts Vegetable Stock
- 1 Pint (2 Cups) Peanut Butter
- 1/3 Teaspoon Celery Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup Peanuts, rougly chopped
- Melt butter in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Add onion and celery. Cook 5 minutes stirring constantly until vegetables are soft, but still have no color. Add flour and mix well.
- Stir in stock, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a smaller pot. Push on the solids to extract all of the liquid. While on low heat add peanut butter, salt, celery salt and lemon juice. Stir until peanut butter is incorporated.
- Serve, and add chopped peanuts as a garnish.