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Top Pick Of The Week

April 27, 2010

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Like peanut butter? Try peanut soup! Photo by Juan Monino | ISP.

WHAT IT IS: Easy-to-make peanut soup in three varieties.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: You may have had cream of peanut soup, curried peanut soup or Thai peanut soup, but this line offers all three.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Just combine the soup mix with a quart of chicken stock and heat. It couldn’t be easier.
WHERE TO BUY IT: MontebelloKitchens.com.
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.Nuts For Montebello Kitchens Peanut Soup

CAPSULE REPORT: Peanuts, peanut butter, peanut butter cookies, peanut brittle, satay.... peanut soup?? Indeed!

Peanuts, which originated in South America, actually came to the U.S. with African slaves. Brought to West Africa by Portuguese and Spanish traders, peanuts were a staple crop for West Africans.

We first had a bowl of peanut soup at the King’s Arms Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. We were a young teen who liked peanut butter, but the concept of peanut soup seemed an oddity. So we had to try it.

It was love at first slurp. But in the ensuing decades, it’s been pretty hard to come across a bowl of peanut soup north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Thanks to Montebello Kitchens, purveyors of Virginia artisan foods, anyone can now have peanut soup three ways: Traditional, African Piri Piri (spicy) and Thai Curry (hot). All three simple-to-make varieties are delicious. As a bonus, they’re made from defatted peanut flour, are fat-free and only 145 calories per serving!

Read the full review below to see how we serve peanut soup. For you from-scratch cookers, we’ve also included the recipe from the King’s Arms Tavern and a recipe for Senegalese peanut soup.

     
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

More Top Pick Peanut Products

B.T. Brownies. The best peanut butter brownie in our memory (in the center of the stack) was from this artisan brownie maker. We like the other flavors, too. A great brownie gift! Read the review.

Spread Peanut Butter. Simply the most divine peanut butter in the world, in flavors so creative (pretzel PB for starters) you’ll have to buy them all. Each is better than the next. Read the review.

Yummy Cupcakes In A Jar. Flavors include Goobers chocolate cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting, layered with chocolate-covered peanuts; and Peanut Butter Cup, with PB frosting and PB cup. Read the review.

INDEX OF REVIEW

This is Page 1 of a two-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages:

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  • RECIPE: Asparagus Dishes
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Montebello Kitchens Peanut Soup: Nuts For It!

Peanut Soup Overview

Peanuts, native to South America, were brought to Africa by Spanish and Portuguese traders. They came from Africa to North America along with cassava, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lima beans, okra*, yams and other crops.†

These foods became integrated into southern cuisine by enslaved African cooks working in the kitchens of planters and farmers. They made peanut pie, peanut soup and boiled peanuts as snacks. (It took another couple of centuries for a freed slave, George Washington Carver [January 1864-1943], to invent peanut butter.)

While Americans nationwide have had their fair share of peanut butter, peanut candy (peanut brittle, Snickers bars), peanut-garnished foods and countless other peanut products, peanut soup is surprisingly absent from the menu—unless you’re traveling through a handful of Southern states where it’s a legacy.

Americans love soup; peanuts are a good source of nutrition. What’s the problem?‡

 


Festively packaged, Montebello Kitchens Peanut Soup can be gifted and stuffed into stockings. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

With peanut soup mix from Montebello Kitchens, there is no problem. Just add the soup mix to chicken stock, heat and eat. Any peanut lover will love discovering this new way to enjoy peanuts.

*One of its African names for okra is gumbo, which became identified with Creole cuisine.

†Other crops from Africa include licorice, millet, sesame, sorghum and watermelon. Source: SlaveryInAmerica.org.

‡Peanuts provide protein, fiber and 14 minerals and vitamins, including high concentrations of folate, magnesium, niacin and vitamin E.


—Karen Hochman

Continue To Page 2: Varieties Of Montebello Kitchens Peanut Soup

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