This recipe appears in The Culinary Institute of America’s The New Book of Soups (2009, Lebhar-Friedman, Inc.).
Makes 8 servings
3 Tbs butter
½ cup chopped celery
1¼ cups chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
¾ cup chopped leek (white and light green parts)
3 cups sliced sweet potatoes (peeled)
1 qt chicken broth
3 Tbs creamy peanut butter
¼ cinnamon stick
¾ cup peanuts
1¼ cups heavy cream
Salt to taste
2 Tbs molasses
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Chopped peanuts for garnish
Preheat oven to 325°F. Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add celery, onion, garlic, and leek. Stir to coat evenly with butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, broth, peanut butter, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are fully tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread peanuts in a single layer in a pie pan. Toast in oven until light brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Shake pan occasionally and watch carefully, as nuts can burn quickly. Let the peanuts cool, chop coarsely, and set aside.
Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Purée the soup and strain it. Return soup to soup pot and place over low heat. Add ½ cup of the cream. Season to taste with salt. Keep warm but do not boil.
Combine the remaining ¾ cup cream with the molasses, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Whip until stiff peaks form. Serve the soup in heated bowls, garnished with the whipped cream and chopped peanuts.