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Author Notes: This soup achieves creaminess without any dairy products or starchy ingredients. The raw cashews, which are fairly neutral in flavour, create the “cream” and the leeks provide the thickening. It’s light, elegant, and delicious. —Karen Barnaby
For the cashew cream
- 1 cup raw cashews, halves or pieces
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cups thinly sliced leeks, washed and trimmed, while and light green parts only, about 3 very large leeks
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds broccoli, stems peeled, coarsely chopped
- 6-8 cups vegetable broth or water
- freshly ground black pepper
- zest of 1/2 lemon, removed with a zester
- 4 tablespoons roasted, shelled pumpkin seeds
- Place the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover by 2-inches. Stir in 1 tsp sea salt and lit sit at least 4 hours at room temperature or up to overnight in the fridge.
- Drain the cashews, rinse well, and place in a high speed blender jar. Add the 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) water, garlic and lemon juice. Blend on high speed until a smooth, cream is formed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the blender and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until the leeks are soft but not brown. Add enough stock to just cover the broccoli, and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Bring to a boil then turn to a simmer.
- Cook until the broccoli is tender and still bright green, 10-15 minutes. In batches, puree on high speed in the blender jar. Add half of the cashew cream and blend to combine. Scrape the puree into the pot, thin with more stock if needed and stir over medium heat until hot. Taste and correct the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the reserved cashew cream, lemon zest and pumpkin seeds.