Monday, July 29, 2013

Cashew Kale Soup

I got the idea for this soup from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, "Relish It! In Your Kitchen..." I made his "Cheesy Kale Soup" recipe on page 132. I thought it was very good, but that it was lacking in flavor, so I made up my own, and voila! Cashew Kale Soup! Baby John ate an entire baby food jar of this right after he had had a full dinner. Seth couldn't spoon it in fast enough to please John! And our neighbor, 10 month old Stella loved it too. So if you want to teach your babies to love a healthful array of vegetables, here's a good way to start!
 Kale is the highest nutrient per calorie food available. Check out all this awesome info about kale at

Nutrients in
1.00 cup cooked (130.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value
 vitamin K 1327.6%
 vitamin A 354.1%
 vitamin C 88.8%
 manganese 27%
 fiber 10.4%
 copper 10%
 tryptophan 9.3%
 calcium 9.3%
 vitamin B6 9%
 potassium 8.4%
 iron 6.5%
 magnesium 5.8%
 vitamin E 5.5%
 omega-3 fats 5.4%
 vitamin B2 5.2%
 protein 4.9%
 vitamin B1 4.6%
 folate 4.2%
 phosphorus 3.6%
 vitamin B3 3.2%
Calories (36) 2%

If those are the cooked nutrients, think of what the nutrients are when you eat it raw! We love eating steamed kale, and putting it in our fruit smoothies and fruit and veggie juice. Enjoy :)

Cashew Kale Soup

Serves 3-4 (you'll probably want to double it. We were sad not to have left overs!)

- 1/2 c. yellow split peas* (cook in 1 3/4 c. veggie stock or water)
- 2 c. fresh carrot juice (or cook 2 c. diced carrots with split peas (add 1 c. veg. stock or water for carrots) until tender.)
- 1 1/2 lb. kale ribbed and stemed
- 1 1/2 c. portabella mushrooms (or any kind really)
- 1 onion - large diced
- 1 Tb. minced garlic
- 1 Tb. lemon juice
- 2 Tb. nutritional yeast*++
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 c. raw cashews* (or 1/4 c. cashew butter)

*buy in bulk at Whole Foods or your local health foods store

++Nutritional Yeast is high in vitamin B12 and protein (2 things that people are always concerned about if you're a vegan, so just tell them about nutritional yeast if you are:). It is a nutritional supplement/condiment made from a deactivated yeast. It has a cheesy, nutty, salty flavor, and is a yellow flaky substance. You can sprinkle it on steamed veggies, put it in soups, on popcorn, steamed veggies, in dressings, in veggie burgers, in savory breads, etc.

1. In a large pot, simmer yellow split peas (and carrots if you don't have a juicer) until tender, about 15-20 min.
2. Add all other ingredients except raw cashews; Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until kale is tender (about 15 min.)
3. Add cashews and blend the soup with an immersion blender^ (see pictures below)

^An immersion blender is a wonderful kitchen appliance to have! We were given one as a bridal shower gift. We had been married 3 years before I knew what to do with it! That all changed when I watched Ina Garten on the FoodNetwork make a pureed leek soup (that was delicious by the way!). Now I use it all the time to puree hot soups mostly. If you have one, use it! If you don't, consider putting it on your wish list, and just ladle the hot soup into your blender in batches (just be careful not to burn yourself.) Happy pureeing!

- Serve with fresh crusty bread (smash avocado on top of the bread instead of using margarine or butter. You'll be glad you did!)
- Garnish with your favorite fresh herbs, carrot shavings, or chopped cashews

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