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i’m melting

Recipe: chinese sweet peanut soup

Skiers know when it’s going to be a bad summer. We knew this back in March and April when we were skiing snirt (snow-dirt) instead of snorkeling hip-deep powder. A paltry snowpack has big implications for the wildfire season. We’ve been hoping against it all winter, dreading it all spring. That summer solstice cooldown was merely a tease. The current full-on heat wave has been dealing triple digits to the plains and temperatures in the 90s here at 8500 feet. That is hot. Unusually hot. Terribly hot. Fire fighters are playing whack-a-mole around Colorado as wildfires spring up and grow with a ravenous appetite, fed by drought and these hot, dry conditions. And it’s only June.


grateful when the sun goes down (little clouds casting long shadows)

if only those bad boys would deliver on the rain



Despite the weather, I hosted a tea party this past weekend. In the tradition of our stitch-n-bitch crew which hasn’t knit a single stitch in the last 3 years of gatherings, we had a tea party where not a one had a cup of tea. Figures, right? It was just too damn hot. The ladies opted for a lavender lemonade, strawberry soda, mimosa, or good old ice water.

setting up

plenty of delicious noms



For the uninitiated, it’s a curious thing to witness the routine of (my) food pals greeting one another. They squeal or tilt their heads and sing, “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!” with arms outstretched for hugs and kisses, but hands full of stuff. What stuff, you may ask? It’s practically a swap meet when we congregate. We make food things or hunt down cool finds and we gift them to our friends. I’m realizing more and more that people who don’t engage in this behavior are just plain missing out on some serious love. I received two jars of homemade kimchi, homemade Greek yogurt with cherries, homemade Indian lemon pickles, foraged cattail pollen (!!), foraged black currants, an elderberry rose hips elixir (foraged, of course) for Jeremy who was feeling under the weather, handcrafted caramels, and Fresh Paper for extending the life of produce (organically).

check it



Oh, and my pal, Kat, brought me a tin of Lyle’s Golden Syrup so I wouldn’t have to make imposter (aka Yankee) ANZAC biscuits anymore! The only thing I could imagine being more fun than a food gang is if all of my friends were Patagonia distributers… right?!?!

In this ass hot heat, I only want to eat cold things. Every now and again, you can find me searching for something in the freezer and then suddenly plunging both arms into said freezer just for a few seconds of relief. If I had a walk-in freezer, I would indeed be walking in. A few months ago (this heat has been getting to me since we rose above 60°F) I had a hankering for a soup I used to love when I was a kid. Soup? Yes, soup. You can have it hot or cold and I’m sure you can guess how I’ve been enjoying it. I found a recipe on Bee’s site that looked absolutely perfect.


start with peanuts

and soak them overnight



Use unsalted peanuts, because this is a sweet peanut soup. I just happened to have a ton of peanuts in the shell leftover from the Lunar New Year. Don’t worry if you can’t get the skins off the peanuts, because when you soak them in water overnight, the peanut skins slip right off the next morning. After removing the skins, give the peanuts a rinse and then drain them.

place peanuts and fresh water in a pressure cooker

yes, a pressure cooker (set on high)



Do you need a pressure cooker to make this soup? I don’t know. I imagine you could boil the hell out of it over the HOT STOVE in THE HEAT OF SUMMER for HOURS ON END, but a pressure cooker really is the way to go. It’s faster, more energy efficient, and does an incredible job of turning the peanuts into the softest, silkiest, mush of peanutty goodness. The relationship between pressure and temperature for a constant volume is a beautiful one indeed. I love my pressure cooker and use it often. I’ve named mine Pascal.

when the soup is done cooking

add some sugar to taste

and a little coconut milk for creaminess



I’ve had this served hot as a dessert in some Chinese restaurants, but I can’t even wrap my brain around that right now. When chilled, the soup is a creamy, nutty, sweet treat in summer that isn’t too heavy. Have it whichever way you prefer. I especially like Bee’s addition of coconut milk, as dairy milk sends my insides into a tizzy. Chinese sweet peanut soup is simple and delightfully good.

a perfect little bowl of cold sweet soup for cooling off

full of silky soft peanuts



Chinese Sweet Peanut Soup
[print recipe]
from Nyonya Food

12 oz. peanuts, shelled
8 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsps coconut milk

Soak the peanuts in a large bowl of water overnight and make sure none are sticking out of the water. If there are skins on the peanuts, they will come off after soaking them. When done soaking, rinse the peanuts and drain all of the excess water off. Place the peanuts in a pressure cooker and add the 8 cups of water. Pressure cook the peanuts and on high heat for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 30-40 additional minutes. Remove from heat and let the pressure cooker cool naturally (natural release). Remove the lid of the pressure cooker and heat the soup over medium heat. Add sugar to taste. The peanuts should be completely soft after all of that time in the pressure cooker. If they aren’t, let them boil until they reach a creamy fall-apart texture. Add coconut milk and let the soup return to a boil for a minute. Remove from heat. You can either serve it hot or let it cool and serve it chilled. Serves 6-8.

26 nibbles at “i’m melting”

  1. cindyc says:

    one of my faves! and so delicious dished over shaved ice, too :) thanks!

  2. Kirsten@My German Kitchen...in the Rockies says:

    Wow, that’s a new soup recipe for me. Sounds just right to cool down with.
    Stay safe up there. Looks like you are surrounded by trees.

  3. Lisa is Bossy says:

    This would be good with a couple rice balls (with red bean or sesame paste inside) thrown in. YUMMY!!!

  4. Simon@SoyRiceFire.com says:

    Nice recipe. This reminds me of a wonderful sweet peanut soup I had in Xiamen. People there make great peanut soups and the one I had used dried longans and red dates.

  5. Laurie says:

    Hahaha, Pascal! Nice! I love a good name-related pun for science-y topics. So appropriate. Keep cool!

  6. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    Oh wow! What a fun idea!

  7. blackberriesandbloodoranges says:

    This looks so good–and you might have just convinced me to get a pressure cooker. I have been on the fence about it for a long time.

  8. Jill says:

    nom nom!
    My mom used to use a pressure cooker, but she would ban us from the kitchen! I don’t know…40-50 yrs ago, did they explode or something??? I’m sure they have perfected, and I love the name Pascal!

    I believe this is the first time I noticed your new dining set. Lovely!

    hugs, jill

  9. Lisa says:

    I love sweet peanut soup, hot ones in winter and cold ones in summer. I used my magic pot to cook it and I had to cook it twice to get them soft enough to taste.

  10. Audrey says:

    So I clicked on the link to Bee’s site, wondering what other goodies “Bee” has on her site and was lead to a video clip of Finding Nemo on YouTube. Did I miss something? Peanut soup = Finding Nemo??

  11. jenyu says:

    Audrey – ha ha!! that’s awesome! Sorry, that got there accidentally :) It’s fixed now.

  12. Ann says:

    These are raw peanuts, right?

  13. Ann says:

    One more question–I don’t have a pressure cooker. Would cooking them for a long time in the crock pot on high work to soften the peanuts?

  14. Shut Up & Cook says:

    When we were growing up my mother made us attend tea each Friday. Sometimes it was fun, but mostly it was boring, with my brother and myself being relegated to kicking each other under the table.

    Love the idea though of bringing back the Tea Party as an event in and of itself.

    Don’t suppose you’d care to share the whole menu event, eh?

  15. Mrs Ergül says:

    I’m sorry to hear of the fires. Have been keeping a lookout for your tweets. Keep safe!

    Over here, we have this soup hot and with rice dumplings thrown in! Love it on cool days. The other soup you can choose from when buying from the stalls is ginger soup which is so good for keeping warm.

  16. Debs @ The Spanish Wok says:

    This sounds an amazing summer soup.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  17. Sandi says:

    Just discovered your blog through a friend. Love it. Not sure if I can get used to cold soup, but with this heat I think I’m going to give this recipe a try. We are down by Fort Collins and we are melting too! I may have to break down and buy a couple air conditioners today if there are any left in the stores. I hope the fire above Boulder isn’t too close to you!

  18. Margie says:

    This looks like another ‘keeper’…

  19. Joy says:

    The soup looks great. Your table setup looks beautiful.

  20. Words Of Deliciousness says:

    The soup looks wonderful. The weather is way too hot.

  21. Veena says:

    looks yummy and nice clicks.. Peanut is my favourite

  22. LizzieBee says:

    Jen, I’m thrilled to hear you got a tin of Golden Syrup: and Lyle’s is the BEST! Awesomesticks! Now, when it cools down enough for more hiking, you make another batch and tell us what you think :) :)

  23. jenyu says:

    cindyc – mmm, I forgot about shaved ice!

    Kirsten – thanks and yes, we are in the mountains.

    Lisa – :)

    Simon – I prefer mine plain, but that does sound good.

    Laurie – thanks.

    Katrina – yes, it’s so nice to have on a hot summer day.

    blackberriesandbloodoranges – oh, I *love* my pressure cooker. Hope you like yours.

    Jill – they were kinda scary back in the day. These days they are muuuuch safer. Thanks!

    Lisa – you should get a pressure cooker.

    Ann – yes, raw peanuts. And sure, you can probably use a slow cooker, but you may not achieve the silky softness that a pressure cooker can.

    Shut Up & Cook – well, it was a potluck to some degree, each of my friends brought something to share. But I made scones, french macarons, lemon curd, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp (grilled), sliced flank steak rolled with chevre, roasted garlic, and spinach, caprese sticks, chocolate mousse, mini pavlovas, watermelon feta salad, mimosas, lavender lemonade, strawberry soda.

    Mrs. Ergül – oh, I love ginger soup too!

    Sandi – thanks, the fire wasn’t too close (but close enough). You should try it, it’s quite nice.

    Margie – thanks

    Joy – thank you!

    Words of Deliciousness – agreed!

    Veena – you might really like this soup.

    LizzieBee – :)

  24. Jill says:

    I made this for a group of people tonight, we had an Asian themed dinner… however I did not use a pressure cooker because I don’t have one and just boiled it in a pot. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Everybody hated it, and I must say I was not a fan either, the broth was OK but the texture of the peanuts was disgusting. I boiled them until they were soft and tender. Perhaps a pressure cooker is the key to this recipe? Any advice would be great as I would love know where I went wrong :S

  25. jenyu says:

    Jill – yeah, I think if you don’t use a pressure cooker, you just cannot achieve the right texture, which is why I didn’t include the option to just boil them in a regular pot. So my advice is to use a pressure cooker. Good luck!

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