Here is a post to give you something to look forward to as your work week begins.
Al LOVES Broccoli! He even likes to eat it raw with hummus as a snack. I am not such a fan of broccoli and you will NEVER find me eating it raw. I like it cooked and I really enjoy it in a cream of broccoli soup. A cream soup is not typically vegan or lactose intolerant friendly though – unless you use cashews.
Behold the wonder of cashews!
Since I have learned how to make cashew cream, my life has changed. I can’t even imagine wanting to use dairy as a cream base any longer. So here is the scoop, if you soak cashews for a few hours, drain and then puree with some water you end up with a miracle “cream”, so to speak, that can be thinned to a milk or thickened to a dip. Add lemon or apple cider vinegar for a sour cream or white sauce on tacos.
In this case we will be making a lovely quick and easy weeknight cream of broccoli soup. If you have a Trader Joe’s grocery store near you, you’re in luck, because all of the ingredients can be purchased there. That is exactly what I do.
- Use whole raw unsalted cashews.
- Soak the cashews for at least thirty minutes but 2-4 hours is best.
- A Vitamix is key to getting the creamiest soup possible but don’t let that discourage you. Give your blender a try and see what happens.
- For a quick weeknight dinner either:
- Soak the cashews the night before, drain and store in the fridge.
- Call or text who ever gets home first and ask them to soak them.
- Soak them for thirty minutes while you are slowly prepping the recipe with a glass of wine in hand.
- I do not remove the stems of thyme. The Vitamix obliterates them into the cream mixture.
- I like this soup with a good deal of pepper in it. You may not, so ease into it ½ teaspoon at a time.
- To warm up left-over soup- be gentle! You don’t want to burn the cream so keep an eye on your heat and do not let it get hot enough to boil.
Peppery Cashew Broccoli Soup
Yield: 2-3 big bowls
Time: 30-35 minutes
- 1 cup whole raw cashews – rinsed and soaked in water (30minutes to 4 hours)
- 2 Tblspn. olive oil – or oil of choice
- 1 – 12 ounce package of broccoli florets
- 1 – 3.5 ounce package of shiitake mushrooms – sliced
- 2 leeks – washed well and sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
- 10-15 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 quart of vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1.5 tsp. pepper
Rinse the cashews, soak in water (about two cups) for at least thirty minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the leeks and mushrooms and chop the garlic.
Turn the heat on the stove to medium-high and place the oil in a large pot. Once the oil is warm, add the leeks and mushrooms- sauté until the leeks are soft- 5-7 minutes. Add the sprigs of thyme and chopped garlic stirring occasionally for one minute.
Add the broccoli and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes – until the broccoli is cooked through and soft.
Drain the water from the cashews, rinse and add to a Vitamix. Next add the entire batch of soup. Place the lid firmly on top. Turn the power on (speed 1) slowly turn up the dial to the top speed and then throw it into turbo boost. Continue to “blend” until the soup looks uniformly smooth (about 1-2 minutes).
Remove from blender and put back in cleaned out pot and add salt and pepper to taste. I add 1 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of pepper. Gently re-warm if needed.
Garnish with any thing of your liking. I really love capers in my broccoli soup. There is something about that salty taste that off sets the broccoli to my liking.
I serve mine with a lovely kalamata olive bread. If you are gluten free, consider serving it on top of rice or quinoa. If you are paleo, add a nice salad or grilled veggies.
This is a wonderful quick and easy plant-based meal to come home to. I hope you try it, fall in love with it and enjoy it for years to come.