Dr. David Shields, food historian from the University of South Carolina, has generously shared his recipe for making historic peanut soup. If you want to try this recipe with the heirloom African Runner Peanut, contact CustomerService@bradfordwatermelons.com for ordering information.
Parching the Peanuts: In a dry skillet parch 2 cups of peeled and skinned Carolina African Runner Peanuts, toast to light brown on a medium high fire/stove setting. Let peanuts cool. Grate peanuts in blender or food processor, you’ll want them somewhat granular. The meal should just begin to clump. When the meal is cooled, add salt (two teaspoons).
In a sauce pan try 4 slices of bacon for the fat, or melt ½ stick of butter, of heat ¼ up of green peanut oil. Add peanut meal and stir in. Slowly add in chicken stock—4 cups if you like thick peanut soup, up to 8 cups if you like thin. Stir to insure peanut mix becomes creamy.
Add I sliced red cayenne pepper.
Add 1 pint of oysters with their liquor, insure that they are heated thoroughly and their liquid incorporated into the soup, but don’t cook so long that the oysters shrivel.
Salt and pepper to taste. Add a few parched peanuts to the top.
Note: the management of the salt in this recipe can be dicey, particularly if you have briney oysters, salted butter, and salty chicken stock. So it may be prudent to reduce the initial salting of the peanut meal.
In Spring time, Gullah Geechee cooks would add chopped green field onions to the top as a garnish.