Is it hot where you live? It is almost hot here, and lighter meals are taking shape. I am anticipating my vegetable share starting so I can start cooking extremely local. We have had a cool, wet spring and our local CSA farm is starting at the end of June to compensate for the cool weather. In the mean time our local coop is supplying us with local and regional produce that is filling in fine. Yesterday I picked up cucumbers, lemons and cashews to make a summer soup that is light and refreshing and creamy at the same time. I knew I wanted to try to make cashew milk and used Elena's Pantry blog as a starting point. I reduced the amount of water in her recipe and eliminated the agave nectar. I wanted the cashew milk to be on the thicker side because I knew that the cucumber would add a very watery element. Her recipe calls for a vitamixer. I do not have one, so used my blender and then used a metal strainer to remove the small pieces from the milk. It worked great. A wonderful jump into light fare on warm days. Cashews have a mild flavor that blended really well with the lemon and cucumber. I plan on using the extra cashew milk for our oatmeal breakfast tomorrow!
Cashew Milk (adapted from Elena's Pantry)
makes 4 cups
1 cup raw cashews
3 cups water
Soak cashews in water overnight. Discard water and add cashews to blender with 3 cups water. Blend on high until smooth (about 1minute). Using a metal strainer over a bowl, pour cashew milk into bowl and separate any large pieces of cashew that may not have been blended. After the milk has settled either stir in foamy cream that has settled on the top or skim off and compost. I like the creamy foam, so just stirred it in.
Lemon Cucumber Cashew Cream Soup
makes 3 servings
2 cups cashew cream
1 cucumber skinned and seeds removed
salt to taste (I used almost 1 tsp)
zest of 2 lemons
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tsp. chopped shallot
1 tbls lemon crush olive oil (high quality olive oil is fine too)
In a blender add all the ingredients. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a bowl with a metal strainer to catch any pieces that have not been blended. Taste for salt.
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbls tamari
Toast cashews in a skillet. After they are browned, turn off heat and add spices. After mixed, add tamari and stir until spices are coated on nuts and the tamari has evaporated.
Garnish each bowl of soup with a spoonful of cashew garnish and an extra drizzle of olive oil on top. I added a bit of extra lemon zest too. I ate mine room temperature, straight out of the blender. I don't know that I would advise against serving this chilled...on a really hot day it would be great. But, the flavors of the cucumber and lemon really stand out when this is not cold. Perhaps a bit chilled? Any feedback appreciated about this!