Peanut Soup with Grilled Peaches

Charlie McKenna

Lillie’s Q - Chicago, and Destin, FL

This vibrant take on an old Southern classic is made with a variety of sweet and sour elements.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half cream
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup sugarcane vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup muscovado sugar
  • 1 peach, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Coarsely chopped toasted peanuts for garnish
  • Thinly sliced scallions for garnish


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and bay leaves. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and mace; cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue simmering for 20 minutes.  

Add the peanut butter and half and half. Cook for 2 more minutes, then remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Refrigerate until chilled. Season with salt to taste. Keep chilled until serving.

Combine the vinegar and sugar in a medium saucepan. Reduce over low heat until
syrupy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Toss the peach slices in the canola oil. Grill in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until lightly caramelized on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

To serve, divide the soup among serving bowls. Garnish with grilled peach slices, toasted peanuts, and scallions. Finish with a drizzle of vinegar reduction.


4 to 6 servings