Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saturday Soup

I have my moments that some would call dramatic.  Personally, I think I'm just a romantic.     When I envision life on a farm I think of beautiful sunny mornings enjoyed with family as I pick ripe vegetables  all the while dressed like Anna Nicole's Guess shoot circa 1992.  A bona-fide city girl, the closest I get to this vision is a weekly delivery from my CSA; a box filled with the freshest vegetables begging to be included in our weekly meals.  Having a CSA has brought more recipes into regular rotation than anything else;  it may be the best decision I have ever made as a home cook.  Faced with a box of veg, I often turn to one of my vegetarian cookbooks for inspiration.  Even as a meat eater, I find these an absolute necessity.  With vegetables sitting front and center, a vegetarian recipe is the best way to learn flavors, cooking techniques and most importantly, how to integrate new tastes to your everyday diet.

This week's CSA box included the season's first sweet potatoes and an array of spring onions.  Time to make one of my favorite vegetarian dishes:   Sweet Potato and Cashew Soup with Avocado Cream.  This healthful bowl of goodness with its tangy garnish is the perfect light lunch.  Ready in under an hour, we enjoy it on Saturday afternoons or as a light midweek meal paired with a salad.

Sweet Potato and Cashew Soup with Avocado Cream
Recipe By: Terry Walters, Get Clean
Avocado Cream:
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 avocados
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3 TB lime juice
1/4 cilantro leaves (I omitted)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 medium onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 TB grapeseed oil
3 medium sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
1 cup cashews
5 cups vegetable stock (I used chicken stock I had on hand)
Sea Salt
1/2 cup scallions (I omitted)

For the Avocado Cream:

  1. With the food processor running, drop in garlic and process until minced.  
  2. Halve avocados, and remove pits.  Scoop out avocado flesh, add to processor and whip until smooth.  Add yogurt, lime juice, cilantro and salt and process until evenly combined.  
  3. Place in airtight container with pits to prevent browning and set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve. 

For the Soup:
  1. Place a large soup pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat.  Add oil until shimmery.   Add onion and celery and saute until soft, 4 to 6 minutes.  
  2. Add sweet potatoes, cashews and stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.  Season to taste with salt. 
  4. Ladle into bowls and place a large dollop of cream on each portion.  Enjoy!
I used my immersion blender for this recipe, but can only imagine what a vitamix would do for the texture.  I did freeze individual portions of this soup, but without the avocado cream it tastes rather healthy.  Perhaps add a veggie sandwich to this lunch on the run for a full experience.  

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