Carrot-Tomato and Creamy Cashew Soup
1-1/2 cups whole, raw cashews
1 cup plain nondairy milk [u]Soup[/u]:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled (whole, not crushed)
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 large celery stalks, chopped
3 large, peeled tomatoes
2 fresh thyme leaves
1 large bay leaf
1 to 1-1/2 cups cashew cream
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste [u]Garnish[/u]
drops olive oil
chopped parsley (not Italian)
The beauty within this recipe is found in the cashew cream. You will need to prepare this cream no less than 10 hours prior to making this recipe. This is how and why:
[u]Cashew Cream[/u]: 1. Place cashews in a deep bowl and cover with (preferably purified) water overnight. After about 10 hours or so, the cashews will absorb the water becoming large and soft.
2. Drain the water from the cashews and rinse thoroughly. Place the rinsed cashews in processor or blender with the nondairy milk (about 1/4 inch over top of cashews). Use less instead of more soy milk if you are unsure, more can always be added later. Depending on your blender quality, blend until ultra-smooth. If you can't achieve a creamy consistency and want to remove the trivial amounts of ground cashew goodness, you can strain the cream through a liquid strainer of some type. Reserve the larger pieces for another purpose.
[u]Soup[/u]: 3. Preheat a large pot to medium heat. Add the olive oil and allow some time to heat. Put the chopped onions into the heated olive oil (NOT the garlic) and saute for about 5 minutes, or until onions are transparent. Then add the garlic cloves and simmer for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Add the carrots, celery, and peeled tomatoes (seeds, juices, and all--however, no tough white center because it might not process correctly). Add thyme leaves and bay leaf (make it easy to remove them later!). Add water to cover by about 1 inch. Boil for 1 hour, or until carrots are soft and you achieve a golden broth.
4. Let the soup cool, then remove the bay and thyme leaves. Add to processor in batches. After everything is processed, return soup to large pot and re-heat on medium.
[u]Assembly[/u]5. While it's warming up, add the cashew cream and tomato paste, stirring frequently and vigorously with a kitchen whisk. Re-heating the soup slowly in the end will help meld all the flavors together smooth out the tomato. Garnish with olive oil and parsley. This recipe is really good with the caramelized onion foccacia bread recipe that I plan on posting soon.
Source of recipe: Modified from the Tomato Bisque recipe in "The Conscious Cook," by Tal Ronnen.