Congrats to Tal Ronnen for winning VegNews 2009 Book of the Year award for his creation, The Conscious Cook. I went to his web site and the recipes look to die for, let me tell ya! (I'm definitely not a fan of fake chicken though, which he seems to use a lot, and is very popular in the Vegan world) I also recently saw him on Oprah and he was talking about "cashew cream" (Oprah and guests were super in awe of this as though it's some new invention, ha) - YAY! Love that he's introducing raw food ideas into the mainstream cooking world.
One of the recipes that looked GREAT for Winter time is the "Cream" of Asparagus soup using Cashews instead of half and half.
Check it out:
- Sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 quarts faux chicken or vegetable stock (try Better Than Bouillon brand)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup thick Cashew Cream, plus more for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- Microgreens for garnish
makes 6 servings. 1 hour prep time
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 into bowls. Garnish each bowl with microgreens and drops of Cashew Cream.