Every once and a while you’ve just gotta think outside the box—the Crackerjack box that is. This savory-but-sweet peanut soup has its roots in Georgia. I’ve swapped out several of the traditional ingredients and replaced the cream with coconut milk. It adds a layer of rich, exotic flavor that makes it a guaranteed home run for kids and adults alike.
1¼ cup shelled peanuts (or 1 cup smooth peanut butter)
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 medium-size yam, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch cubes
5 cups chicken stock
½ cup canned coconut milk (not to be confused with coconut cream)
cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
½ cup crackerjacks (for garnish)
In a food processor, add peanuts and 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Puree until smooth. Reserve. (If you use peanut butter, omit the 2 tablespoons of oil used to blend the peanuts).
In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon peanut oil, butter, onion and yam. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock, coconut milk and peanut butter. Turn up heat until liquids reach a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender. Season to taste with salt and cayenne. (If sharing with kids, it is a good idea to season theirs separately). To serve, reheat, then garnish each bowl with a few crackerjacks.
Yield: 8 servings
Uncommon goods: Crackerjacks are available at some grocery stores and ballparks everywhere.
Level of difficulty: There is little chance of striking out with this recipe
Active prep: 40 minutes inactive cooking time 30 minutes
Shortcuts: Choose the peanut butter option
Advance work: Can be made up to 2 days in advance