“I don’t always cook vegan, but when I do….”
Okay, I pretty much always cook vegan, and when I really want to blow someone’s mind, I’ll put together one of these two amazing soups. They both transcend seasons, can feed a crowd, and will get your guests talking about unique flavors and world influences.
Trust me, they haven’t had anything like this before—and if they have, they’ll thank you for giving it to them again.
African Peanut Soup
I first had this soup when my sister brought it to a family party. That pot had chicken in it in deference to my carnivorous dad, but the broth was so satisfying I had to make a vegan version. I have perfected it over the years and now offer you this.
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb ginger, grated or minced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4-6 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 summer squash, cut into half moons
2 yellow squash, cut into half moons
1 celery root bulb, peeled and diced (optional– you can substitute peeled and cubed butternut squash here if you like.)
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen edamame
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
4-6 cups vegetable broth
3 tbl curry powder (try hot madras curry if you like it spicy)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbl olive oil
Saute’ onion and celery in olive oil five minutes. Add garlic and ginger, sauté one minute. Add curry, salt and pepper to taste, sauté one minute. Add liquid, bay leaf and tomatoes, bring to boil. Add sweet potatoes, carrots and celery root or squash, cook 10 minutes. Add peanut butter, zucchini and yellow squash, cook three minutes. Add spinach and edamame and heat through, stirring gently, three minutes. Serve in big bowls with fresh cilantro.
Celery Root Soup With Cashew Cream
This elegant soup will impress your ritziest guests. It is smooth and subtle, much like you.
You must make this at least 12 hours ahead of time, but it’s fast and easy to get together.
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 cup water
Put cashews in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover them. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse cashews. Put in a food processor with just enough water to cover and process until creamy. If you like your cashew cream to be a thinner consistency, just slowly add more water.
For the soup you’ll need;
1 tbl olive oil
2-3 celery roots, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
8 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup cashew cream
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 Honey Crisp or any firm apple peeled and diced
truffle oil for drizzling if desired
Saute celery root, onion and celery in hot oil with a dash of salt 6-8 minutes until all are soft. Add the broth, salt and pepper to taste and bay leaf and bring to a boil, simmer 30 minutes. Add cashew cream, simmer 10 more minutes. Use an immersion blender or a high powered countertop blender to puree soup.
Serve topped with apples and a drizzle of truffle oil.
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Ed: Bryonie Wise