Salmonella in Carob, Cashews, and Chiles

FSNBHeads up people. Apparently salmonella can be on just about anything. Z Natural Foods Organic Carob powder recall details here. Deep raw cashew pieces too; details here. A variety of peppers details here. Check your pantry. Check your fridge. Check your friends. Salmonella’s bad news. Eat well, be well friends.

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Broccoli ‘Cheese’ Soup – all of the taste with much less fat

One of the most wonderful things about a powerful blender is the creamy soup that can be created and poured… or schmoved with a spatula into bowls – already hot!  If your blender isn’t strong enough to heat, then you can always pour this into a pot and heat after you’ve creamed it.  There is nothing like soup to fill the belly and warm the soul.

We experimented with a lot of soups when we first bought a Vita Mix (15 years old and still going strong).  One of our favorites was Broccoli Cheese Soup.  What’s not to like about Broccoli Cheese Soup?  Well, once you determine that you can’t handle dairy, and there are those that argue that the fat in dairy is a bad choice, and those that would rather leave the cow’s milk to the cow’s…. well then, the cheese is not to like about broccoli cheese soup.  So here is my dairy free version, loosely based on the recipe for broccoli cheese soup found in the Vita Mix recipe book.

Dairy Free Cheesy Broccoli Soup

1 tsp oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 cups steamed or blanched broccoli
1 cup raw cashews soaked in water for about 5 hours or more (I put the cashews in a 2 cup measuring cup and then fill to the 2 cup line with water
1 c unsweetened milk – I used almond
1 c water
1.5 Tbsp bouillon

You can also substitute broth for water – or broth for water and milk.  Whatever works for you!

Steam or blanch your broccoli – keeping in mind that stemmy pieces need a little more cooking than plain florets.

I prefer to saute my onion and garlic before adding it to soup.  Just saute until translucent while steaming your broccoli (which I did in the microwave)

Put all ingredients in the blender and whirrrrr it up, or more accurately,  sideways until it is smooth and blended and if you don’t want to heat in a pot – let it spin till it’s hot!

I served mine with some broken up toasted Ezekiel bread.  My husband said it was fabulous but I was too busy eating to notice 😉

This took 20 minutes from the beginning of chopping onion to pouring in the bowls.  You gotta love that!

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Enjoy the arrival of Fall – may your windows be open, your skies blue and your hearts full like a pumpkin.

Carrot Ginger Soup … because you know you want more soup!

Okay, so we are definitely thinking about re-naming the pantry The Sweet Potato and Soup Sisters because we’ve shared so many soup and sweet potato recipes, but what could possibly be wrong with that?  Seriously, as we were driving home from TaeKwonDo testing on this cold morning…. after sitting on a cold gym floor waiting our turn to do forms and spar and break boards, I kept thinking how nice it would be to have some soup.  I would have sat in some if it wouldn’t have stained my uniform!!

At any rate, watching my young man be attacked by 2 high level teenage female black belts, I couldn’t be sure what he was thinking but I’m certain it was not about soup.  I am also certain he was not thinking about vegetables.  No, really!  I’m quite sure!  However, I know that I can think about slipping lots of vegetables into that growing body by incorporating them into soup.  And he and his growing body love this soup, as does Mr. Bigg Sis (who prefers that his body not grow anymore).  Vegetables in soup fill the bill for both growing and ‘trying to stay relatively the same size’ bodies.   So slurp on!!

This easy to make soup is an adaptation of a soup in the Vita Mix recipe book.  The original uses tofu, but tofu is on the list of inflammatory foods that hubby is supposed to avoid.  I decided to use cashews for protein, made a few other changes and I think you will enjoy the results.  We certainly did!  And if anyone breaks into our house to steal the soup, my son and I are ready to fight them for it!

Carrot Ginger Soup

Chopping can be chunky as eventually it will all be ground up
3/4 cup cashew pieces soaked overnight in 1 cup water
5 cup chopped carrots (does not need to be chopped fine)
1 cup chopped onion
6 small garlic cloves – or a couple of big honkers (chopped)
1 tsp olive or other oil you prefer
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (keeping ginger root in the freezer makes it easy to grate)
1 – 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

After chopping veggies, saute them in the oil until slightly tender and onions translucent.
Add to high powered blender along with 1 cup stock, ginger and salt.
Puree.
Transfer to soup pot on stove to keep warm.

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Okay – so it’s not looking too creamy yet….. hold onto your cold tushie over there!

Place cashews and water in blender (no need to wash blender) and puree on high until smooth and creamy.
Add to soup pot and stir.
Add more stock if desired to achieve desired consistency.
Serve with bread or potatoes or crackers or cold TaeKwonDo people…. or rather to cold TaeKwonDo people.

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This is yummy but I do hope that soon the weather will turn our thoughts from soup to …. aw heck, I eat soup all year!  Perhaps in the next few months we will be able to share some lukewarm or chilled soups.   But for now – I give you a hearty, healthy hot soup.