CREAMY 10-SPICE BEAN & VEGGIE SOUP

Blogger, cookbook author, and vegan ambassador Angela Liddon changed my mind some years ago about plant-based eating and cooking; it’s no wonder her blog, Oh She Glows, has more than a million followers and her cookbooks are best-sellers. I return often to her 10-spice vegetable soup with cashew cream and tinker endlessly with the recipe, depending on what’s handy in my pantry and crisper. Her recipe calls for garbanzo beans, but I frequently use frozen baby lima beans or dried navy beans instead. This time, I made it with dried large lima beans, which my parents always called butter beans, thanks to the rich consistency and flavor. Chock-full of veggies — I add a lot of different ones each time — and made substantial with sweet potato, this one gets its lush quality from homemade cashew cream and its intrigue from a snappy blend of spices and herbs. At serving, this soup is perfect with toasted sourdough.

Serves 4 to 6

¾ cup raw cashews, soaked (see Note)

6 cups vegetable broth, divided use

2 teaspoons avocado or olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 yellow or red bell pepper, chopped

1 sweet potato, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices

1 to 2 tablespoons 10-Spice Blend (below)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 cups chopped broccoli

2 cups cooked large lima beans

Chopped Italian parsley or green onion for garnish

Lime wedges, for serving

Note: Soak cashews in 1 ½ cups boiling water for 2 hours before preparing soup recipe.

In a blender combine soaked, drained cashews with 1 to 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth at high speed until smooth. Set aside.

In a large pan or medium soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and saute onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until soft. Add carrots, celery, bell pepper, sweet potato, tomato and juice, along with remaining vegetable broth. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in 10-Spice Blend (below), seasoning and cashew cream. Cook at gentle boil another 5 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add broccoli and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Before serving, stir in cooked lima beans and adjust seasonings. Stir another 3 to 4 minutes till beans are heated through. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley or green onion and squeeze a lime wedge over each bowl at serving.

10-Spice Blend: In a medium jar, combine 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon each garlic granules, dried oregano, and dried basil with 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 1 ½ teaspoons each black pepper and sea salt, and 1 teaspoon each ground coriander, white pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cover with tight-fitting lid and shake well to combine. Use also in marinades for fish and chicken before grilling and in salad dressing.

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