Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Robin Cunningham's Virginia Peanut Soup

Robin Cunningham - Big Band singer extraordinaire! She is the reason I started this blog and it is about time I posted one of her beloved recipes! I met Robin when I was singing with the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra. Robin's husband Tom has a fantastic band and challenged Bill Elliott to a "battle of the bands". OH what fun we had!!! We played in a restaurant in the D.C area that was shaped like a rectangle, and had bandstands set up on both ends. There was a big wall of glass on the street end of the restaurant and I remember it being completely steamed up because it was SO cold outside....but inside it was JUMPIN! Man! Between the musicians blowin and the dancers dancin and the people eating, we were generating some heat!!  It was a great night and I only wish we could do it again. Robin is a fantastic singer and it is my pleasure to call her my friend.

So....I asked her for one of her favorite recipes and she responded with this. She said she makes it every year at Thanksgiving, and because we just celebrated Thanksgiving, I decided to make it too. It is Rich and Creamy, and Delicious!  Not sweet, but savory - a perfect soup starter for a Fall meal.

That's Robin on the far left with the boa! 

Thank you Robin....for this recipe and for your beloved friendship.

2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small to medium onion, chopped
1/2 stick butter (1/4 C)
2 TBS flour
2 C chicken broth
1 C milk
1 C heavy cream
(or 2 C light cream)
1 C peanut butter (unfortunately, organic does not work in this recipe - the final product comes out "grainy")
salt and pepper to taste
chopped peanuts for garnish

Lightly brown celery and onion in butter.
Add flour - cook long enough to get rid of the raw flour taste - a couple of minutes.
Stir in broth and bring to a boil to thicken. 
Add milk and cream  - reduce heat to simmer.
Blend with immersion blender (or use can use a regular blender, doing this step in batches, then return to pan)
Stir in peanut butter until smooth. 
Simmer 5 minutes; serve immediately.
Garnish with chopped peanuts.

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