Creamy Pea Soup with Cashews
This unique soup is delicious, and appeals even to those (like me) who don’t normally care for peas. It’s vegan and gluten-free; the preparation takes about an hour, and this quantity serves 4-6, depending on how much else you are serving.
¼ cup olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups raw cashews, soaked and drained
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 lb frozen sugar snap or green peas, thawed
3 cups water or vegan broth
1 Tbsp malt vinegar (or white wine vinegar if preferred)
Garnish: thinly sliced green onions (scallions) and/or a small handful of finely chopped pecans
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and celery; cook gently, stirring often until golden brown, 30–40 minutes. Add a splash of water if the bottom of pan gets too brown. Season with salt and pepper, then add the cashews, sugar, red pepper flakes, and three cups water (or broth) and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very soft, 10–15 minutes.
2. Blend one-third of sugar snap peas with one-third of vegetable mixture in a blender, Nutri- Bullet, or Vitamix, adding some cooking liquid from vegetable mixture as needed to thin. Process until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Press the purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan and discard any solids. Working in batches, repeat with the remaining peas and vegetable mixture, adding water as needed if you run out of cooking liquid. If the soup is still very thick, thin with water (or plant milk) until you get a velvety, pourable consistency. You should end up with about 7 cups of soup.
3. Stir the vinegar into soup; season with more salt and pepper to taste. Warm over low heat until just heated through.
4. To serve, spoon into wide soup plates and garnish with slivers of green onions (scallions) and/or pecans.
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