I've discovered my new favourite soup. Being Irish, soup is a dietary stable and while many associate soup with Winter time, Spring and Summer soups can be equally tasty and just as tempting. Granted, it is freezing cold today, but the sun is shining and Spring is definitely in the air so what better time to post the recipe for this Spring Pea Soup with a Mint Cashew Cream. I made this soup yesterday as the starter course for my mother's birthday dinner and it went down a treat. Pea and mint is a classic flavour combination, but instead of putting the mint in the soup (which works perfectly well too), I made a mint cashew cream and dolloped it generously on top of the soup. Beautifully cool and refreshing with the pipping hot soup.
For anyone who follows The Honest Project, you will know that cashew nuts are one of my cupboard stables and I use them all the time to make creamy sauces and dressings. I think for most people, making a creamy sauce or dressing usually means using generous amounts of dairy cream. However, there are some really good plant based ingredients that can be used to make sauces just as beautifully creamy and tempting. One of these ways is by using soaked cashew nuts. This method of making creamy sauces doesn't have to be reserved for vegans or plant based eaters alone. Even if you are a dairy lover, this is just an alternative option to have in your recipe file, for example, if you want to experiment, or if you just don't want to eat dairy every singe day. The reason cashew nuts work so well is that they are wonderfully fatty and when soaked will blend into a cream as opposed to into ground cashew nuts. Honestly, if you haven't tried this, give it a whirl, you will love the results.
1 tbsp of olive oil
4 spring onions
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 medium size potato
3 cups of frozen peas
4 cups of vegetable stock
Sea salt and black pepper
For the mint cashew cream:
1/2 a cup of cashew nuts
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
Small handful of mint
1/4 cup of water
1. Start by soaking the cashew nuts in warm water for 30 minutes.
2. To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Chop 3 of the spring onions and the potato into bite size pieces. Add to the pot and cook for about five minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further two minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat and allow to cook for ten minutes. Add the frozen peas and allow to cook for a further ten minutes.
3. While the soup is cooking, prepare the mint cashew cream by draining the cashew nuts and adding to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until creamy and set aside.
4. Once the soup ingredients are cooked, blend into a soup using a handheld blender.
5. To serve, spoon into bowls and top with a spoon of mint cashew cream, some freshly chopped spring onions and a mint leaf.