“When I first came across peanut soup at Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah National Park, I was curious to try it but felt like I was rolling the dice on a pretty peculiar-sounding dish,” writes Lydia Ly in her new cookbook, The National Parks Cookbook : The Best Recipes from (and Inspired by) America’s National Parks. A staple of the lodge’s Spottswood Dining Room, the creamy soup fed Virginia colonists in the early 1700s, she explains.
Ly writes: “The simple dish straddles the line between sophisticated and plain. It’s made many different ways from thin and brothy to thick and more bisque-like, and my version is the latter. I love the sweetness that sweet potatoes and coconut milk add, but not in a cloying way. This is a stick-to-your-ribs type of soup and one worth trying if you love traditional comfort foods with a rich history. Don’t skip the lime juice before serving—it really brings out all the flavors.”