Although this green soup recipe calls for all manner of good-for-you things such as peas and broccoli and spinach, we swear it doesn’t taste like doing penance. And to further help you put to lovely use all those green things languishing in your veggie bin or freezer, you can rely on this recipe as a basic blueprint and ignore the exact amounts. Nothing needs to be unerringly precise. Dump in twice as many peas. Reduce the spinach to a single handful. There’s no need to get hung up on the precise number of cups of peas or whether your broccoli is 12 ounces or 16 ounces. We’ve been playing with the proportions and it hasn’t failed us yet. (We’ve also been making a version that includes leeks and zucchini in addition to the ingredients suggested in the recipe below and wowsa!) As for that lovely swirl you see commingling with the liquid greens, it’s actually a surprisingly satisfying cashew cream—don’t knock it until you try it. Although if you’re just not into that sorta thing, go ahead and substitute a swirl of actual heavy cream or, for those beholden to someone with dairy issues or who subscribes to vegan tenets, unsweetened coconut cream.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 2 H, 30 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- For the cashew cream
- 5 ounces (142 g) raw cashews
- 1 1/4 cups (296 ml) cold water
- 1 clove garlic
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
- For the green soup
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped (1 to 1 1/2 cups or about 200 g)
- 1 head broccoli, chopped (about 3 cups or 10 ounces or 283 g)
- 3 handfuls (1 to 1 1/2 cups or 100 to 150 g) fresh or frozen peas
- 3 1/2 cups (828 ml) Homemade Chicken Stock or Vegetable Broth
- 6 to 12 ounces (170 to 340 g) baby spinach
- A small handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped (optional)
- 1 green chile pepper, chopped (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Make the cashew cream
- 1. A few hours before making the green soup, toss the cashews in a bowl, pour enough very hot water over them to cover, and let soak for at least 2 hours.
- 2. When the cashews are tender, drain them and toss them in a food processor or blender along with the cold water, garlic, and lemon zest. Process until completely smooth and creamy.
- Make the green soup
- 3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and peas to the pan and cook until they’re bright green, about 5 minutes. Then add the stock to the pan. (The vegetables should be just barely covered with liquid. If necessary, add a little extra water to the pan.) Bring to a boil and then gently simmer until the vegetables are tender, anywhere from 4 minutes to 8 minutes. (If using frozen peas, your timing will be closer to 8 minutes.) Don’t overcook the vegetables or they’ll turn an icky shade of dull green.
- 4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the spinach, a handful at a time, and let it wilt into the soup. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then transfer to a blender or Vitamix along with half the cashew cream and process until smooth.
- For serving
- 5. Pour or ladle the soup into bowls and add a swirl of the remaining cashew cream atop each bowl. If desired, sprinkle with parsley and chile.