Recently I had read an article on the health benefits of cashew nuts. When cashew nuts are soaked and pureed into a luscious smooth mixture it is a perfect addition to soups of all kinds. Then I found this recipe from Sarah, of Making Thyme For Health. Wow, this takes cream of mushroom soup to a whole new level – it was truly delicious. No need for real cream – personally I think this is better.
I did change the method, made it gluten free, and used a couple of different ingredients so will do a recap here. (If using a bouillon cube or powdered stock seasoning double check that it is gluten free – there are many on the market that are not) For the original recipe please check out Sarah’s lovely blog Making Thyme For Health. Many thanks Sarah, your recipe is a winner!
For the cashews it is recommended to use a high powered blender, which always makes me think of a Vita Mix or a Blendtec – neither of which I have. I used my old faithful Cuisinart and it worked like a charm.
1/2 cup wild rice
2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large shallots, diced
3/4 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery with the leaves
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cups diced crimini mushrooms
1 tsp. salt
fresh cracked pepper
3 Tblsp. lite gluten free Tamari sauce
1 tsp. dried Thyme
2 tsp. fresh minced Sage
2 Tblsp. fresh minced Italian parsley
1 large Bay Leaf
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 Tblsp. nutritional yeast
1 Tblsp. arrowroot powder
1 1/2 cups homemade vegetable stock
If you did not want a Vegetarian/Vegan soup, organic chicken or beef stock would be lovely in this recipe too, just omit the nutritional yeast. It would also make a great base for a seafood/clam chowder.
Cook the wild rice in 1 cup of water – on a low simmer, lid on for about 45 min. Once cooked, and all the water is absorbed remove from the heat, lid on and set aside.
Add the cashew nuts to a medium sized heat proof bowl. Cover with 2 1/2 cups boiling water and allow to soak 30-40 min. Drain and add to your blender. I added some of the almond milk a bit at a time and kept on liquefy until it was completely smooth (use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender with each blending process). Once completely smooth, add in the rest of the almond milk, nutritional yeast, and arrowroot powder. Blend well, and transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat up a pot or dutch oven on low medium heat, and add in the EVOO. Saute the mushrooms until nice and golden. Season with the salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Add in the diced carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, fresh sage, fresh parsley and saute about 8 minutes. Add in the homemade vegetable stock, tamari sauce and bay leaf, bring to a simmer, lid on and cook until the vegetables are tender – about 10-15 minutes.
Then add in the cashew/almond milk mixture, and the wild rice. Stir well until combined and re-heat through – keep stirring as it will thicken. Remove the bay leaf and serve piping hot with a sprinkle of fresh minced parsley. Enjoy….we sure did!