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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cashew Cream Soup: Avocado and Pepper


Recently I've found that singeling cashews out of the nut mixture can is not the only way to enjoy them. It's true. Raw cashes are now synonymous with sweet, fluffy dessert toppings as well as savory creams.

You may also be asking why? The simple fact is that not everyone eats, or can tolerate, dairy. And why live a life of creamless soups and desserts when you don't have to?

You may also be intrigued by this, but have concerns with how daunting the process is going to be. Turns out, the process is really quite simple. I'll admit, I was initially hesitant and it took a bit before I finally soaked my first cashew. But I haven't looked back since. Soaking cashews involve covering them with water overnight and then rinsing them before blending with water. That's it! Vary the texture through amounts of water and length of blending. Add a bit of sweetener and vanilla for dessert or leave plain to use in place of classic milk and cream.

Below I've given you the makings for two base soups: a Creamy Avocado Soup and a Creamy Pepper Soup. You can also combine them to make a Creamy Avocado Pepper Soup. Also listed are numerous additions that can be added to either, ultimately giving you ability to make hundreds of soups. Perhaps they should be called Creamy Transformer Soups?

Bite the bullet and test out the cashew phenomenon with either of these ultra simple, Fat and Happy Cashew Cream Soups. It will be the beginning of a new relationship.


Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques:  I like the avocado soup chilled or room temperature and the pepper soup warm. If you make the soup right after roasting the peppers, it should be hot enough after blending to eat straight up. If you like your soup warmer, gently warm over the stove. Cashew cream seems to thicken quickly while heating, so you may want to add in a touch more water while blending.


Cashew Cream Soups


 Creamy Poblano and Red Pepper Soup

1/2 cup raw cashew (preferably soaked)
1-2 cups of water (or broth)
1 red pepper
1 poblano pepper
juice of 1/2 fresh lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the cashews overnight in water. Do this by placing the cashews in a glass container and covering with water. Hold in the refrigerator, drain and rinse before using. You can skip this step if you are short on time, but it will take the longer to blend the cashews.

Char the skin of the peppers. You can do this over a hot grill, under the broiler or over a gas stove. Clean the peppers and discard the seeds.

Place the cashews in a blender with 1/2 of  liquid, blend until the bulk of the cashews are chopped fine fairly fine. Add in the peppers and 1/2 cup of liquid at a time to achieve desired texture (you can always add in more liquid but you can't take it out) blend until smooth.  Add in the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.


Creamy Avocado Soup
1/2 cup raw cashew (preferably soaked)
1-2 cup water (or broth)
1 ripe avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak the cashews overnight in water. Do this by placing the cashews in a glass container and covering with water. Hold in the refrigerator, drain and rinse before using. You can skip this step if you are short on time, but it will take the longer to blend the cashews.

Place the cashews in a blender with 1/4 cup of  water, blend until smooth. Add in the avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper. Blend on low until combined.  Add additional liquid to reach desired thickness (I prefer the avocado soup on the thicker side; 1 cup total liquid will make a nice thick soup, but add to your liking.)


Soup Variations

Try adding any of the following to make variations of either soup:

Garlic
Cumin
Cayenne Pepper
Chili Powder
Curry
Ground ginger
Ground Turmeric
Fresh Cilantro or Parsley
 Fresh basil, oregano, thyme










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