“King’s Arms Tavern” is a nationally renowned establishment in Williamsburg, Virginia, often frequented by our country’s founding father, George Washington. The peanut soup is a legendary treat.
In the mid-1960s, my folks and I took a trip through the area to visit Washington, DC, the Jamestown settlement and nearby Williamsburg. We had lunch at the tavern, and I remember the server wrapping me and my family members in huge napkins. It reminded me of being at a barber shop. The servers would proudly claim as they pointed to a seat “George Washington sat right there”, the restaurant having been in operation since the late 1700s.
This is their recipe for peanut soup:
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3 cups chicken stock (I prefer to make my own)
- 5 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half
- Finely chopped salted peanuts, for garnish
How to make it
- Using a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add onion and celery and saute until onions are clear (about 5 minutes).
- Stir in flour and whisk while cooking on low-medium until texture is smooth and bubbly (about two or three minutes).
- Add chicken stock increasing the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer, stirring often, until slightly reduced and thickened (15 minutes).
- Strain the mixture through a sieve collecting as much of the liquid and removing as much of the solid matter as possible.
- Return the liquid to the pot.
- Add peanut butter and cream to the liquid while whisking in.
- Simmer on low, whisking often (about 5 to 10 minutes).
- Ladle into soup bowls with finely chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.
After serving, refrigerate the remnants. Re-serve ice-cold for a great summer snack.“Hip! Hip!”