This creamy soup blends flavors popular in Thai cooking, including peanuts, coconut, lemon grass, and a little bit of red pepper for heat. Serve small portions as an appetizer course or with a salad for a full meal.
In a medium saucepan cook onion, celery, and finely chopped red sweet pepper in hot margarine or butter about 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, lemon grass or lemon peel, and ground red pepper. Add chicken broth and coconut milk all at once. Cook and stir until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.
Add peanut butter and soy sauce; stir until well blended and heated through. If desired, top each serving with peanuts, cilantro, and red pepper strips. Makes 8 appetizer or side-dish servings.