From Nuts to Soup

Ladle a luscious taste of autumn with Virginia peanut soup.

It’s creamy and decadent, perfect for the first crisp day of fall. And although it’s been a Virginia taste tradition for centuries, peanut soup remains elusive on modern-day menus.

It starts simply enough, with a hearty chicken stock. Fragrant with the addition of vegetables and seasonings, the broth is heated until the steam perfumes the air, then it’s strained. Peanut butter is stirred in slowly and deliberately to melt and meld. Light cream and a dash of freshly-ground white pepper finish the dish, followed by a garnish of fresh thyme or crushed peanuts.

Easy to make at home, peanut soup can also be found at a handful of Virginia restaurants. On our must-taste list are the offerings at King’s Arms Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg and at The Regency Room at The Hotel Roanoke.

“Let’s face it, thinking about Virginia-fresh ingredients, Virginia peanuts rock,” says Colonial Williamsburg Executive Chef Travis Brust, who’s dreamed up everything from a crusty peanut coating for smoked duck breast to a sweet and salty peanut brittle garnish for ice cream. But for a seasonal classic, “King’s Arms Tavern hosts this delicious ingredient in a creamy soup finished with sherry and garnished with crunchy roasted peanuts.” ColonialWilliamsburgHotels.com/Dining, HotelRoanoke.com

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