Recipes

Recipe: Winter Warmer Spicy Cashew Soup With Plantain Croutons (vegan, gluten-free)

This recipe is up due to popular demand. Haha. When I posted a pic of what I was making on Instagram, several people asked for the recipe so here it is!

I love cashew nuts. They might possibly be my favourite nuts. Sometimes pistachios turn my head but they’re too much hard work. Cashews bring memories flooding back. They remind me of childhood summer holidays spent at my grandmas in Benue, plucking fresh cashew fruit straight off the tree in her yard and being warned not to eat the seed (it’s highly poisonous, nice granny). Outside of Brazil and Nigeria, I’ve never seen fresh cashew on sale. The flesh is very delicate which makes cashews too perishable to export. If you’ve never seen a fresh cashew before here’s what it looks like:

Cashews growing on a tree

Cashews growing on a tree

Most of my life I’ve just chomped on cashew nuts or added them to stir fries but this year I’ve been experimenting and coming up with recipes using them. I was inspired by Ghanian peanut soup though that has chicken and garden eggs. This spicy cashew soup is a delicious winter warmer with a good kick. The recipe calls for raw cashew nuts, roasted cashew nuts  and cashew nut butter! Feel free to just use one of those only – the soup still tastes great but I find that having the different textures/degrees of cooking adds depth to the flavour. I’ve never been served plantain/dodo in soup but when I tried it just worked. Plantain was also a childhood favourite (still is) so this is happy soup all round for me.

RECIPE: SPICY CASHEW SOUP WITH PLANTAIN CROUTONS (VEGAN, VEGETARIAN, GLUTEN-FREE)

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 servings):

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chillies
  • 8-10 dried red chillies (leave out if you prefer things less spicy)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut into quarters, set a few aside to garnish
  • 1 sweet pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of raw cashew nuts, set a few aside to garnish
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cashew nut butter (use 4 tablespoons if you are not using raw cashew nuts)
  • 1 lemon

Plantain croutons:

  • 1 plantain
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Sweat the onions in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for approximately 5 minutes on a low to medium heat in a pot. You don’t want the onion to get any colour at all just soften.
  2. Finely chop the garlic, ginger and chilli (or use a food processor) and add to the onions. Sweat for another 5 minutes.
  3. While the onion mixture is sweating, dry pan roast half the raw cashew nuts. Let the nuts cool then grind them with a mortar and pestle. You want a mixture of ground nuts as well as a few small nibs. Do the same with the remaining raw nuts.
  4. Add the sweet pepper, cherry tomatoes and roasted cashew nuts to the pot.
  5. Mix the stock cube in 1 litre of water then pour in to the pot.
  6. Add the raw cashew nuts  and stir in the cashew nut butter.
  7. Bring to the boil then simmer soup at low heat for 30 minutes.
  8. To make plantain croutons: Heat oven to 200˚C and place the baking tray inside. Dice the plantain in approx 1 cm cubes. When baking tray hot, wipe with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil then place the diced plantain on tray, season and cook for around 10 minutes until cooked.
  9. When the soup is done you can blend it. Personally I prefer texture and chunks in my soup.
  10. To serve, add the plantain croutons and garnish with cherry tomato pieces, roast cashew nut and spring onions. Squeeze lemon juice onto soup just before serving.
Spicy Cashew Soup with Plantain Croutons

Spicy Cashew Soup with Plantain Croutons

Any one else love cashews or cashew nuts as much as I do?

I’ve decided to add this to the No Croutons Required soup challenge which you can read about here.

 

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