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Virginia Peanut Soup

Rich, creamy and smooth, this Virginia Peanut Soup is the old-fashioned recipe made famous at the taverns in Colonial Williamsburg.
Course Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword peanut soup, Virginia Peanut Soup, Williamsburg Peanut Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 cups
Calories 409.7kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups smooth peanut butter (use a jar of store-bought peanut butter, or see note below to make your own natural peanut butter)
  • 1 ¾ cups light cream
  • Garnish: chopped roasted salted peanuts, chopped fresh parsley; sliced green onion


  • Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft, but not brown (about 5-7 minutes). Stir in flour until well blended, about 1 minute.
  • Add chicken broth, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer broth uncovered for about 10 minutes (to allow the broth to thicken slightly). Remove from heat and puree with a hand-held stick blender, in a food processor, or in batches in a regular blender.
  • Add peanut butter and cream, stirring to combine. Heat over low heat, just until warmed through and peanut butter is melted (do not boil). Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with chopped peanuts, parsley and/or sliced green onion.


  • How do you make natural peanut butter? I use a jar of store-bought peanut butter for this recipe, since that's an easy shortcut that still tastes great. In Williamsburg, the taverns make the soup with homemade natural peanut butter ground from gourmet Virginia peanuts (a large kernel nut with a rich flavor). If you'd like to make your own natural peanut butter, place 4 cups of roasted, unsalted peanuts in the bowl of a food processor and drizzle 3 tablespoons of peanut oil over top. Pulse to break up the nuts, then blend until very smooth. If the mixture is too dry, gradually add more oil by the teaspoonful. Season with salt, to taste.
  • How long will peanut soup stay fresh in the refrigerator? This soup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To reheat leftover soup, place the soup in a saucepan and warm (uncovered) over low heat until the soup reaches desired temperature. Be careful not to let the soup boil.
  • Can you freeze peanut soup? I don't recommend freezing this soup, since the cream base can "break" when thawed -- creating an unappetizing texture.
  • To prepare a smaller batch of soup, simply cut all of the ingredients in half. The rest of the instructions remain the same.
  • Is peanut soup healthy? Thanks to the peanut butter and cream, one cup of this soup has about 400 calories. For a lighter version without the cream, check out this recipe from The Washington Post.
  • Is peanut soup Keto? No, one cup of the soup has 15 grams of carbohydrates, so this is not a low-carb recipe for the Keto diet.
Recipe slightly adapted from The King's Arms Tavern.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 409.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.4g | Protein: 11.2g | Fat: 36.3g | Saturated Fat: 13.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 52.5mg | Sodium: 875.4mg | Potassium: 623.9mg | Fiber: 3.1g | Sugar: 6.2g