May 24, 2012
Cream of Asparagus Soup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch (5cm) pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 quarts (2 litres) faux chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup (225ml) thick cashew cream, plus more for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (450g) fresh baby spinach
microgreens for garnish
Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.
Add the asparagus, celery, and onion and sauté for 6 to 10 minutes, until the celery is just soft. Add the stock and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the cashew cream and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, cover the lid with a towel (the hot liquid tends to erupt), and blend on high. Add the spinach to the last batch and continue blending until smooth. Pour the soup into a large bowl and stir to incorporate the spinach batch. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish each bowl with microgreens and drops of cashew cream.
Rinse 2 cups (450g) whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry) very well under cold water. Put the cashews into a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place them in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them just slightly. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth.
This makes about 2 1/4 cups (285ml) of thick cream.
If you're not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vitamix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.
All figures are per serving (assumes six servings).
Fat: 13 g
Carbs: 12 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 6 g
Sodium: 806 mg
Read more from the Guide to Meat-Free Meals