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Wednesday
May302012

Strawberry Cashew Soup

Sweet strawberries and honey blend with creamy cashews for a chilled fruit soup that would make a fancy spa chef proud. Serve Strawberry Cashew Soup to start or end a sophisticated brunch, luncheon, or dinner party. It's vegan, dairy free, gluten free, and cholesterol free, which should please a wide range of guests. Or take it in a thermos to work to give yourself a mini-vacation in the lunch room.

Use fully ripe local, organic strawberries and local honey for maximum flavor and health.

cold strawberry cashew soup is vegan, dairy free, and cholesterol free

Strawberry Cashew Soup

Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 2 hours. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw cashews (74 grams)
  • 1/4 cup water (118 grams)
  • 1 pound strawberries (454 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey (10 grams)
  • pinch salt

Method

  1. Put cashews and water in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse eight to ten times until cashew pieces are about the size of coarse grains of sand. Let cashews soak at room temperature for an hour.
  2. Set aside four pretty strawberries for garnish and hull the rest.
  3. After the cashews have soaked, process them again until the mixture looks like heavy cream, about 30 seconds. Add strawberries, honey, and salt to food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate until cold, about an hour. To keep the soup cold if you will be serving it in a warm place, or simply to wow your friends, chill the soup bowls too.
  4. float a sliced organic strawberries on top of strawberry cashew soup as a elegant garnishSlice remaining strawberries. Taste soup and add more honey or salt as needed. (Chilling the soup brings out the flavor of the strawberries, so check the flavor after chilling and serve it cold.) Ladle soup into bowls and gently float strawberry slices on top. Soup keeps refrigerated for about four days.

Tips

Make it ahead

Put cashews and water in a bowl to soak overnight in the refrigerator, then skip the soak in step one. You can also make the soup the day before a party and just slice the strawberries for garnish within a few hours of serving.

Go organic for nutrition and flavor

Marian Burros explains why buying strawberries organic should be a top priority. In a side-by-side comparison, a recent University of Washington study found that:

 The organic strawberries were smaller but denser. They had almost 10 percent more vitamin C, and were almost 9 percent higher in antioxidants, two important reasons for eating them, since strawberries have the most concentrated levels of vitamin C and antioxidants in the diet.

Go organic to avoid toxic methyl bromide

Even more important, buying organic means that you, the farm workers, and the environment aren't exposed to methyl bromide, which is used on 90% of U.S. strawberries but as Burros explains:

was banned in the 1980s under an international treaty, but it's continued to be in use in the U.S. because scientists had not been able to create a less-toxic substitute. A proposed replacement, methyl iodide, is a known carcinogen linked to miscarriages and thyroid disease.

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