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Saturday, December 8, 2007

From Soup To Nuts

Amanda (aka Mrs NoPeanuts) was in Toronto this past week. She had lunch in a church basement and the cooks had made a lovely Moroccan soup. She was surprised to find out that the soup had peanut butter in it! She was even more surprised that the staff demonstrated strong food allergy awareness by noting the inclusion of peanut butter directly on the soup placard. Very cool.
I was intrigued by the inclusion of peanuts in soup. I had no idea that it was so common.

I did a search at and found 19 soup recipes that contained peanut. Most of them had peanut in the name so you'd clearly notice but several others, Szechwan Carrot Soup (1.5 tbsp peanut butter) and Long Leaf Noodle Soup with Hoisin Marinated Shrimp Soup (1/2 cup peanuts), are more obscure from a peanut perspective. Many other soups, including Chinese Hot And Sour Soup, contain peanut oil.

Obviously if we were making these soups we'd modify the recipe to leave out the peanut. That being said, if we were at a restaurant and saw carrot soup we would not have immediately thought 'watch out for peanuts'.

Of course we always ask about peanuts when ordering but I did not realize that so many soup recipes used peanut and I might have trusted the judgment of a seemingly astute waiter who told me their carrot soup was safe. I will ask a couple of follow-up questions in the future.

I am sure that people out there are saying, "I knew that soups often include peanut!" I guess this just highlights that allergy management is a perpetual learning process.

Thanks to the church staff in Toronto. Your simple sign noting that there was peanut butter in your soup has been more helpful than you know!

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