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Morbid Curiosity

Morbid Curiosity Monday: Cream of Peanut Butter Soup

After a few busy weeks of moving, I’m back!  Did you miss my wit, charm, and questionable taste in recipes?

I’m living at my mother-in-law’s house now, and let me tell you: she has a very fancy kitchen. I feel like I’m hosting a cooking show when I’m in that kitchen. I want to be Laura Calder in that kitchen. I want to gaze into the (non-existent) camera, smile enigmatically, and say things like, “I just love making madeleines with a hint of lavender”¦ it always reminds me of summers in Provence with my friends.” I have never been to France in my life. I fear the Food Network has ruined me. But I digress.

When I found my cookbooks again (note to self: label boxes better the next time you move), The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking was the first one I unpacked. It’s a real treasure trove of oddball recipes. Including this one for Cream of Peanut Butter Soup. Yes, you read that correctly: Cream of Peanut Butter Soup.  I somehow doubt Laura Calder would approve.

It felt sacrilegious to defile this gourmet kitchen by making something like cream of peanut butter soup. But I quickly got over it because, dammit, there was defiling to be done, and someone had to step up to the plate (or bowl)!

Cream of Peanut Butter Soup cooking on the stove
Defiling the sanctuary...

The most surprising thing about this whole recipe, is that somehow, beyond all reason, it works. I know. You think I’ve lost it. Peanut butter and chicken broth? When you try it, you have to silence that little voice in the back of your head that says, “You’re eating a soup made of peanut butter. This can’t be good!” But it works! It’s like chicken satay re-imagined in soup form. Add some cilantro and grilled chicken, maybe?

Cream of Peanut Butter Soup

You still don’t believe me? Bah! Where’s your sense of adventure?

Cream of Peanut Butter Soup
¼ stalk celery
½ small onion
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp flour
¾ cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
2 cups chicken broth
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop celery and onion. Melt butter in large saucepan. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until tender. Mix in flour and peanut butter. Add milk slowly; stir until smooth. Add rest of ingredients; bring to a boil. Lower heat; stir as needed to keep from sticking. Cook and stir one minute. Yield 6 servings.

This recipe is from The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking, published by Weathervane Books, 1982.

By Jen R. L. Disarray

Jen was once described as a "culinary anthropologist". She liked that. When she is not making questionable foods, Jen enjoys reading, sassing, and lurking all over the internet. Jen has a blog called Maybe We Shouldn't Be Eating This, and she is a contributor to the Geekquality podcast and blog.

8 replies on “Morbid Curiosity Monday: Cream of Peanut Butter Soup”

We had some type of peanut butter soup at summer camp when I was a kid (this was the same summer camp that made me phobic of spit and any type of ‘dirty’ water, mind you), and it was absolutely disgusting.

That was the one night that they broke the “eat what you take” rule, because the soup was pre-served into bowls so you couldn’t just take a small piece, and it was really that gross.

Not saying that yours would be. Just saying that I have had terrible experiences with peanut butter soup.

See, if that milk had been coconut milk, I would’ve totally been on board with you. Like you said, it’s basically a Thai-style dish without the noodles. Fish sauce, chili peppers, lemongrass, and suddenly it sounds edible.

But dairy milk? I don’t know. It sounds like something Ramona Quimby would have dreamed up, a hearty meal after smashing bricks in the driveway.

Speaking of unique peanut butter flavor combos: my favorite treat at the now-defunct Quackenbush’s cafe on the drag in Austin was a particularly strong espresso peanut butter shake. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it (which you can’t, because it’s not there any more, and the other 43rd St location doesn’t make ’em).

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