This week I harvested some beautiful asparagus and bought a gorgeous head of organic cauliflower. While rummaging in the fridge, I found some mushrooms that needed to be used, so what to do with this assortment of veggies? Cook them all together and make a creamy asparagus, mushroom and cauliflower soup, of course. Then, I came across a recipe for cashew cream, which I have wanted to make for a long time, so put it all together and here is “Creamy Asparagus, Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup”.
This was an experiment that came out delicious, with subtle but complex flavors of the three vegetables melded together. Very rich and creamy, without ANY dairy! Definitely make the roasted cauliflower florets and asparagus spears for the garnish. I could have eaten them right off the roasting pan but they really make this soup special 🙂
INGREDIENTS for SOUP:
(makes about 4-6 servings)
½ lb. asparagus, chopped into small pieces – save the tips for the garnish
½ head cauliflower florets + the core of the cauliflower with tough skin removed + 1 cup of cauliflower florets set aside for the garnish
8 oz. mushrooms (white or crimini)
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups water or vegetable stock (if using water add a veggie bouillon cube)
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Herb/Garlic blend (in spice section of grocery store)
2 TSP. olive oil + 1 TBSP for roasting asparagus & cauliflower garnish
1 tsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup raw cashew pieces
½ cup water
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of salt
For the cashew cream: (makes about 1 cup)
Soak 1 cup of raw, organic cashews in about 3/4 cup water. Let soak for at least 3 hours, then put them into a food processor (with liquid) and the seasonings and blend until smooth and creamy. I prefer the consistency in the food processor over my blender, but you can use either one. This stuff is SO GOOD, it is tempting to just eat it with a spoon but try to save some for the soup. You can put the leftover “cream” in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. It is a healthy and dairy-free alternative to sour cream or real cream and so easy to make.
Note: If you want a vegan alternative to whipped cream, omit the salt and garlic powder and add a bit of maple syrup to sweeten and maybe some cinnamon. Seriously, decadent and NO cholesterol !
For the soup:
In a dutch oven or stock pot heat the olive oil and add the onions and mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes, until they soften, then add the chopped asparagus and cauliflower florets. Saute for another 5 – 10 minutes and add the water with a veggie bouillon cube or the vegetable stock. Let simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until everything is soft. Add the seasonings and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
For the garnish:
While the soup is simmering, cut about a cup of cauliflower into small florets and toss with the asparagus tips in a few TBSP olive oil (garlic infused is great). Spread them out on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, checking often. When the cauliflower is brown and the asparagus is just getting crispy remove from oven and set aside.
Fill your soup bowl with a few ladles of the hot soup, add 1 TBSP cashew cream on top and swirl around, then top with the crispy, roasted cauliflower and asparagus pieces.
Serve immediately and eat as much as you want since there is NO cholesterol or “bad” fat anywhere in this dish. Cashews are high in healthy fats, plus contain Vitamin E, K B6, as well as lots of minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. So indulge without the guilt!