peanut soup

“King’s Arms Tavern” Peanut Soup

“King’s Arms Tavern” is a nationally reknowned establishment in Williamsburg, VA. The tavern was a favorite dining spot for our country’s father, George Washington and the peanut soup is a legendary treat.

A few decades ago, my folks and I took a trip through the area to visit Washington, DC, the Jamestown settlement and nearby Williamsburg. We had lunch at the tavern, and I remember the server wrapping me and my family members in huge napkins. It reminded me of being at a barber shop. The servers would proudly claim as they pointed to a seat “George Washington sat right there”, as the restaurant had been in operation since the late 1700s.

Here is their recipe for peanut soup:


“King's Arms Tavern” Peanut Soup

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
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  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock (I prefer to make my own)
  • 5 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half
  • Finely chopped salted peanuts, for garnish


  1. Using a large soup pot over medium heat, melt butter.

  2. Add onion and celery and saute until onions are clear (about 5 minutes).

  3. Stir in flour and whisk while cooking on low-medium until texture is smooth and bubbly (about two or three minutes).

  4. Add chicken stock increasing the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

  5. Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer, stirring often, until slightly reduced and thickened (15 minutes).

  6. Strain the mixture through a sieve collecting as much of the liquid and removing as much of the solid matter as possible.

  7. Return the liquid to the pot.

  8. Add peanut butter and cream to the liquid while whisking in.

  9. Simmer on low, whisking often (about 5 to 10 minutes).

  10. Ladle into soup bowls with finely chopped peanuts sprinkled on top.

After serving, refrigerate the remnants. Re-serve ice-cold for a great summer snack.

“Hip! Hip! Huzzah!”

Steve D.

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