Broccoli & White Bean Soup w/ Cashew Cream

Springtime is almost here!  So, to get a head start on it's impending arrival, I made this Broccoli & White Bean Soup w/ Cashew Cream courtesy of Donna Hay's Fresh + Light magazine.  I'm always looking for new soups to make especially soups that are heavily vegetable based with lots of protein. First off, I love broccoli and my little ones do too. In our home, we consume it at least 3-4 times in a week as it is quick to chop and quick to steam.  Second, the white beans and the cashew cream give it that protein kick I need to fuel me when I'm on the go.

This recipe is super easy and quick to make.  To start, you need broccoli florets, leeks, chicken stock (vegetable stock to make it vegan) and white beans. Cook just until the broccoli is tender and turns a bright green color. You want to maintain those nutrients.  Blend, drizzle cashew cream, chives and Voila!  Youve got yourself a super healthy filling lunch.  Oh, and don't forget some good Whole grain crusty bread.  Enjoy!


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BROCCOLI & WHITE BEAN SOUP W/ CASHEW CREAM//serves 4
Adapted from Donna Hay’s Fresh + Light magazine, Issue 5

soup
1-tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
4 cups broccoli, finely chopped
2 cups canned white (cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups hot vegetable stock
3 cups hot water
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
¼ cup chopped chives
¼ cup toasted cashews, roughly chopped

cashew cream
1-cup cashews
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup water
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Soak the cashews in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
While the cashews are soaking, heat oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the garlic, leek and broccoli.  Cook and vegetables are slightly softened.  About 5 minutes.  Add the beans, stock, water, salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.  Cook for 15 minutes until the broccoli is tender.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Once cooled, place the broccoli and white bean mixture in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Place soup in bowls

Drain cashews and place in a blender along with the garlic, lemon juice, and water.  Blend until smooth.

To assemble, top with cashew cream, toasted cashews, chopped chives, and cracked black pepper.  Serve with crusty bread.