Friday, July 22, 2011

A Nourishing Chilled Soup

It has been extremely hot in Vermont for the past three days hitting well over 90 degrees each day. If feels like we just aborted July and headed straight into August. It’s really hard to think about cooking in weather like this, because my inclination is to lie down and drink copious quantities of Iced Vanilla Chai Latte (Soy of Course)!
So, needless to say, the soup this week is chilled. I think you could experiment with herbs other than those listed below, although I would hesitate to put really strong herbs such as Basil or Sage in because it would just take over. The texture and thickness of the soup which I pureed in my Vitamix was just Divine! The garnish on the soup is a Cashew Cream, Chives and a sprig of Fresh Thyme.

Chilled Herb Soup
1 1/4 pounds Sweet Onions such as Vidalia, chopped (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Cashews ground to a powder in your Coffee Grinder or Food Processor 
4 cups Vegetable Stock
3 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf Italian Parsley leaves, washed well and spun dry
1 cup chopped fresh Chives (about 3 bunches)
3 tablespoons loosely packed fresh Tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons fresh Thyme leaves (preferably lemon thyme)
4 oz of Silken Tofu or a large Dollop of Cashew Butter
2 tsp Umeboshi Vinegar
1 Tbl fresh Lemon Juice

1. In a 4 to 5 quart saucepan cook Onions in Olive Oil with 1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt and 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add the freshly ground Cashews and cook, stirring for approximately 3 minutes. Add Broth and simmer, stirring 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add Herbs and simmer 1 minute.
2. Remove pan from heat and let mixture cool slightly. In a blender puree mixture in small batches until very smooth. Add your Silken Tofu or Cashew Butter and 2 Tsp Umeboshi Paste in Blender and Blend till totally smooth. Chill soup until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight
3. Just before serving, stir in Lemon Juice and Umeboshi Vinegar. Garnish soup with Cashew  Cream and Herbs.
Cashew Cream:
1 cup Cashews, 1/4 cup Water, 1Tsp Agave Nectar, 1/2 Tsp Umeboshi Vinegar

Soak Cashews for 4 to 8 Hours, drain and puree with 1/4 cup of water, with the addition of the Agave Nectar and Umeboshi Vinegar

Garnish with Cashew Cream, finely chopped fresh Chives and a sprig of fresh Thyme.


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