Chilled Butter Bean Soup with Peanut-Corn Relish

This chilled soup has a Southern accent
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Scott Crawfords'  Chilled Butter Bean Soup with Peanut-Corn Relish
Photo: Tasting Table

Chef Scott Crawford of Standard Foods in Raleigh makes this chilled soup made of creamy fresh butter beans that are puréed until silky smooth.

Brightened with a sweet and tangy relish made of corn, roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes and peanuts, this cool soup is perfect for end-of-summer evenings.

To learn more, read "Raleigh Cry."

Chilled Butter Bean Soup with Peanut-Corn Relish

Recipe adapted from Scott Crawford, Standard Foods, Raleigh, NC

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time

Cook Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 55 minutes, plus chilling time


For the Chilled Butter Bean Soup:

4 cups fresh shelled butter beans or three 15-ounce cans butter beans, drained

2 medium leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

3 cups water

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

For the Peanut-Corn Relish:

1 cup raw peanuts in shell

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 fresh bay leaf

1 teaspoon pickling spice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

2 ears corn, boiled until tender and removed from cob

1 red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and finely diced

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon peanut oil

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup roasted peanuts, for garnish

Chive blossoms, for garnish


1. Make the chilled butter bean soup: In a medium pot over medium heat, combine butter beans, leeks, water and olive oil. Season with salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are creamy and the leeks are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and reserve ½ cup butter beans; strain through a sieve and set aside.

2. Working in batches, purée the soup mixture in a blender on high speed until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine sieve over a large bowl. If the soup looks too thick, thin it with some water. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Place the soup in the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

3. Make the peanut-corn relish: Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the peanuts and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peanut shells have become soft, about an hour. Drain and remove the boiled peanuts from their shells.

4. In a separate small saucepan, add the vinegars, bay leaf, pickling spice and sugar, and cook until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and set aside. Strain through a fine sieve over a small bowl.

5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, corn kernels, roasted red pepper, boiled peanuts, thyme, pickling liquid and reserve butter beans. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Once chilled, stir in the peanut oil.

6. To assemble, spoon the relish onto one side of a bowl. Garnish the relish with roasted peanuts and chive blossoms, if using, and pour the chilled soup alongside the relish. Repeat with remaining bowls.

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