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OUT TO EAT / Great dishes, drinks and people

Peanutty good soup

How on earth does an "African peanut soup" stay on the menu of a German-themed gastropub?

By being prize-winningly good.

Executive chef Jamie Zynda of Lagerhaus 95 (95 Perry St., 200-1798) has been making her version of African peanut soup for seven or eight years, at the Globe Market and other places, she said. But after it won "Best Taste" at the 2012 Buffalo Soup Fest, people started asking for it more, and it's become a house soup selection. (It's $3 a cup, $4.50 a bowl, with bread and butter, and is available as part of Lagerhaus 95's soup and sandwich combos.)

Zynda makes it from crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh ginger, onion, celery, coconut milk, peanut butter and fresh cilantro. The idea came from a soup she tasted in New York City that she thought she'd try to imitate, with flavors that made her think of pad thai.

"I made a few versions, trial and error, until I got it," she said.

Don't tell anybody, but it's vegan, too. "If someone's vegan I'll offer it to them, but I don't put out that it's vegan." That's so meat eaters who shy away from vegan dishes won't avoid it, Zynda said. "Then they'll try it, and they love it."

-- Andrew Z. Galarneau