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Carrot-Tomato and Creamy Cashew Soup

What you need: 

[u]Cashew Cream[/u]:
1-1/2 cups whole, raw cashews
water
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
water
1 to 1-1/2 cups cashew cream
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste [u]Garnish[/u]
drops olive oil
chopped parsley (not Italian)

What you do: 

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.

Preparation Time: 
30 minutes , Cooking time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 
1 hour
Servings: 
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I was craving to make something like tomato bisque and came across this recipe and it's SO good! I'm eating it as I type this. My dad asked me to double the recipe, so I ended up with a LOT of soup. I cut down on onions a bit and minced them because I'm not much of an onion fan... consistency more than taste. The only changes otherwise was using a cashew-based cream that's sold at my local health food store rather than soaking raw cashews (I have some cashews somewhere but I was impatient to make this!!) and a little bit of soy milk. I also added black pepper during the final stage. This recipe was SO easy to make and well worth waiting during the boiling process.

To go with it, I made focaccia from scratch with sprouted spelt flour. Family loves the soup and focaccia, even my nit-picking omni brother! I'm keeping this in the recipe box - next time I'm going to make it with the soaked raw cashews according the recipe and tomatoes, carrots, and celery I grow from the garden.  :)

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Me and my hubs really liked this! Very easy to make and very tasty! The only thing I added was black pepper. Served it up with some foccacia bread and a salad!
Thanks for sharing!!!

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This is wonderful!
My first thought upon seeing this recipe was "Yuck! That wouldn't taste very good!" but after reading through the beautifully written instructions, I decided to try it.
I'm a fan of tomato nor cream soups, but this is tasty and would indeed go quite well with focaccia, which I am also preparing later this evening.
It's very nourishing, and I will certainly make it again.
Wonderful recipe  ;)b

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This soup was awesome. I didnt get to take a pic, but I will try to later. I did not have raw cashes (can not seem to find them) so I had to use roasted.. worked, but soup was less smooth. I also used canned tomatoes because that is what I had.

Served with salad and peanut butter bread (btw, tomato + peanut butter = awesome)

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