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Asparagus and the Joys of Spring

I can hardly wait to share this recipe for Vegan Asparagus Soup with Cashew Cream as we celebrate the official start of spring! Asparagus are the true culinary heralds of spring, and I’ve been finding plentiful, gorgeous organic asparagus in our Raleigh markets.

My most loyal readers report how much they love—and how often they cook—the first Asparagus Soup recipe from Sacred & Delicious that I published on my blog in 2017. Nonetheless, I eagerly await annual inspiration for new and creative approaches to cooking nature’s springtime bounty, as you will see on the Sacred & Delicious BlogSo, my friends, you may want to be adventurous and try another delicious way of eating asparagus soup!I usually credit the celestial Goddess Annapurna for my best recipes, but this year’s inspiration comes from a living “goddess” friend, Rani Margolin. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy the divine food that comes out of Rani’s kitchen many times over the years. She is a marvelous cook, both vegan and gluten-free, and every dish seems to be more delicious than the last. She shared this recipe for a soup she simmered for several hours on a recent weekend before serving it to a group of women friends. You can certainly make it more quickly, if you prefer. It might not taste quite as exquisite as the flavors that simmer all day, but I promise it will still be enticing!

Because this soup is thickened with cooked cashews, it can serve as a one-course meal for those who like a light supper. Or you may want to offer it alongside homemade bread or a salad. In any event, enjoy this Vegan Asparagus Soup with Cashew Cream as you find a new way to enjoy spring’s favorite vegetable.

PS For more asparagus recipes from the Sacred & Delicious Blog: Quick Sauteed Asparagus; White Bean and Asparagus Salad; Asparagus and Sweet Potato Side; Asparagus with Blanched Almond Sauce; Asparagus with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms; Vegan Asparagus Wraps;

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VEGAN ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH CASHEW CREAM

Preparation time 90 minutes or several hours, if you wish
Serves 4 to 6

1 cup raw cashews or cashew flour
3 pounds asparagus
1 to 1½ tablespoons avocado oil
1 small, sweet onion
1 to 1½ tablespoons coconut oil
1 garlic clove
1 to 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ to 1 cup fresh almond milk or soy milk (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon white miso (optional)
Dash black pepper
1 or 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Cook’s Tip: 1. For the most exquisite flavor, simmer this soup for several hours for the flavors to mingle. Otherwise, simmer it for at least 1 hour. 2. Only add the miso after removing the soup pot from heat. 3. I use different oils to add subtle additional flavors, but you can make the soup with only avocado oil. Olive oil is not supposed to be cooked at high heat, so I drizzle it into the soup pot (or individual bowls) when ready to serve.

1. If using cashews, cover and soak them in water for 2 hours or more before starting the soup; strain before adding them in #3 below. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400˚F and place a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet.2.

2. Rinse the asparagus. Break off and throw away the woody lower quarter of each asparagus spear and break or cut the remaining stalks into pieces 1 or 1½ inches long. Place the cut pieces in a mixing bowl and toss with the avocado oil; then transfer the asparagus to the prepared baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Once the asparagus pieces have been roasted, set aside about 1 cup of the tips. (These will be added to the soup pot when you’re finishing the dish.)

3. While the asparagus is roasting, dice the onion. Heat the coconut oil on medium heat in a 5- to 6-quart soup pot. Add the diced onion and sauté it for about 10 minutes until the onion pieces are uniformly golden. Press the garlic clove into the pot. Add the roasted asparagus—except for the 1 cup that you’ve set aside—to the pot along with the cashews. Cover the asparagus and cashews with water and stir. Bring the pot to a low boil; then turn the heat down to low, and simmer for at least an hour—and for as much time as possible—stirring occasionally. Fifteen minutes before serving time, add the tamari and nutritional yeast, and stir.

4. When it’s close to serving time, use an immersible blender to purée the contents. If you prefer a thinner soup, add some non-dairy milk. Add the salt and dash of black pepper and stir. Take the pot off the heat before adding the miso slowly, tasting as you go, as miso is very salty. (Adding miso to boiling liquid will kill its natural probiotics.) Finish the soup by adding the asparagus tips that were set aside and, if you like, drizzle the soup with olive oil for a final layer of flavor.

Ayurvedic Note: This soup is fine for all doshas on occasion.

Kapha types may want to eat in moderation because of the cashews and the amount of fat.

4 Responses

  1. Marie P Iddings says:

    This looks amazing and I love the addition of the cashews for some added protein! I will try this out in the next week as I love asparagus and cashews!!! Fabulous idea!!

  2. Karin Anderson says:

    I love asparagus and cashews so this should be fabulous. I’ll try it next week.

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