Melt the butter over medium high heat in the saucepan and sauté the onion and celery until soft. Add the peanuts and the minced garlic, stirring well. Add flour and cook until it browns lightly, stirring constantly. Season with red pepper flakes and thyme, slowly pour in the stock, stirring well, and simmer for 25 minutes until the peanuts are tender. Allow to cool and purée the soup using a food mill, blender, or attachment for an electric mixer. Pass the purée through a fine-mesh strainer. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reheat gently to serve.
For the garnish, rinse the sliced okra under running cold water and drain. Combine the cornmeal, salt, and pepper, and toss with the okra to coat it lightly. Heat the oil in the skillet or sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Reduce heat slightly and add the okra, flash-frying and shaking the pan, until the okra browns lightly. Add the scallions all at once and cook until just wilted. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and top each bowl of soup with some of the vegetables.