Last month was kind of a crappy month. Some unhappy things happened, but even on the good days there seemed to be a dark cloud hovering. This feeling of gloom happens every year actually, like the post-daylight savings time blues. When they days get shorter and the light lessens, my spirits take a nosedive. It's hard to function when it's cold and dark. I know this might make me sound crazy, but I'd rather roast in 100 degree weather than turn the lights on at 5:00 pm. Nuts to darkness.
Moving to Austin has helped a lot though. With the warm weather here I can still go outside to enjoy warm air and sunlight well into December. By March the sunny days will be back, accompanied by fields of wildflowers. It's really not all that bad. I almost hate to complain, but then I think about how blogging is supposed to be about sharing. So here, I'm sharing.
One sure-fire weapon against the impending gloom is soup. For some reason soup always seems to make me feel better. If the world should meet an untimely end you'll find me hoarding boxes of roasted red pepper tomato, and whittling spoons.
Since Scott and I started doing our vegan thing, soup has become an everyday thing. Tomato based soups are my go-to, since they are easy to throw together in a pinch, but we also eat a lot of black bean, sweet potato, and squash soups. I was worried that creamy soups and chowders would be off the menu, but once again, cashews save the day. Nuts are really amazing. Sorry, that sentence sounds kind of horrible. But really, nuts are the best.
Creamy Broccoli Soup
Makes four cups
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon vegan margarine (or an additional tablespoon oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 pinch marjarom
- 1 cup vegetable stock/broth
- 1 small head of broccoli, steamed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried chopped chives (or 1/4 cup fresh)
- 1/4 - 1 teaspoon salt, as needed
- pepper, to taste
- Soak the cashews in the water overnight. You can try skipping this step, but it really helps to give the soup the creamiest possible texture.
- Put the cashews, water, and tahini in a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth. It should take you at least 1 - 2 minutes of continuous blending.
- Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil, margarine, and spices to the pot, stirring to combine them. Let the spices sizzle for about 2 minutes, then add the vegetable broth and mix well.
- Add the blended cashews to the soup pot, and bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add the broccoli and chives, then taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.
- If you reheat the soup later, or leave it simmering too long the cashews will soak up the moisture. Add an extra cup or two of vegetable stock to thin it back out again. Taste after you do this, and add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed.
What's your favorite soup for beating the Winter blues?
Thanks for visiting Mary Makes Dinner! If you enjoyed this recipe, please check out some of my other favorite vegan recipes:
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