asparagus soup

Made Famous By: Kathi Scott
This soup is AMAZING!!!!
Admittedly when I first looked upon this wonderful concoction
I shyed away because of it's color and I thought asparagus? Really?
Trust me you have nothing to fear! It is creamy and the
flavors are so well developed you will be asking for more!
The added bonus is that is is super healthy for you!

Sea Salt
3 TB 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 stock or vegetable stock (try better than bouillon brand)
1 Bay Leaf
1 C thick Cashew Cream (recipe to follow)
plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
2 C fresh Baby Spinach

Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and hear for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 sec, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.

Add the asparagus, celery, and onion and saute for 6-10 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 with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, cover the lid with a towel (the hot liquid tend 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 drops of cashew cream.

Cashew Cream

**What I love about cashew cream is that it takes the place of cream or sour cream. It is much healthier for the body! Try it in other recipes!!**

2 C Whole Raw Cashews (not pieces, which are often dry)
rinsed very well under cold water

Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. (if you 're not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.)
To make thick cashew cream, simply reduce the amount of water in the blender, so that the water just covers the cashews.

These recipes are from the cook book the Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen and are Vegan friendly.

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