Cauliflower Cashew Soup (with Toasted Buckwheat)

There are a few things in my life that are so important to me,  I let nothing stand in my way from making them happen. Here's the short list:

  • QT with my girlfriends 
  • Rest and play time with my boys (i.e. fiance, Barrett and Doug-the-Dog)
  • Time to get nourishing, satisfying fuel  into my belly
  • Time to move my body, shake out all the tension and get a good sweat
  • Do absolutely nothing / open-space on the calendar time (this is a hard one, but I try to make it happen at least once per week)

Juggling these priorities with two jobs means I do not underestimate the value of a quick, healthy, and delicious weeknight meal. This soup, from Bon Appétit Magazine caught my eye, but with some serious simplification. The recipe below cut out a lot of steps and ingredients, without compromising taste. 

This version of the soup is unbelievably easy to prepare, and outrageously "creamy" (creaminess comes from the cashews). A sure-fire winner for the whole family! 

cashews.jpg

If you have not yet discovered the wonders of cashews, you're in for a treat.

They totally check off the nutritious box by providing heart healthy fats, protein for satiety and magnesium for stable blood sugar levels. The best part, is that when blended, cashews get super creamy and rich, fantastic for desserts. This was my first time using this technique in a soup and I can't wait to do it again. 

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The most exotic ingredient in this soup is kasha (aka toasted buckwheat).

Buckwheat is actually a seed and not at all related to wheat (hence, naturally gluten-free). I get super amped up about buckwheat because I love the toasted flavor, it is one of the few plants with all 9 essential to form a complete protein and it has a ton filling-fiber.

For this recipe, it's important to purchase kasha, not raw buckwheat groats. 

Many people say kasha needs to be cooked, but I think it's best raw. I fell in love with the toasted, crunchiness as the perfect compliment to this creamy soup.

ALRIGHT, RECIPE TIME! 

Servings: 8                                                                                                                                       Active Time: 20 minutes 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large shallots, peeled & diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon 
  • 1/4 cup kasha (toasted buckwheat groats) 
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme or parsley, finely chopped for garnish

PREPARATION:

1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute shallots and garlic until translucent (3-5 min)Toss in cauliflower, wine, stock, lemon juice, cayenne and cashews. Bring to boil, then turn down and simmer (covered) ~20 min, until cauliflower is very soft 

2. While simmering, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. Add paprika and kasha and stir over low heat for ~3 min, then set aside. 

3. Blend cooked cauliflower until smooth (this is definitely easiest with an immersion blender). 

4. Finish with lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Finally, garnish with fresh herbs and a swirl of the paprika-spiked olive oil. 

Serve hot and enjoy! 

The first day the kasha is super crunchy, but after soaking in the soup it becomes soft and nutty- I liked it even more the next day. 

I hope this soup brings you warmth, satisfaction and more time for enjoying your life !