Fun with Cashews, Pt. 2: Curried Cashew Cauliflower Soup

The fire within.

The fire within.

My saga with the 10-Day Detox continues, now in its 2oth day.  Dr. Hyman has taken my body hostage and will only release it for a box of Hostess Ding-Dongs.

For those keeping score at home, I’m now down 10 pounds.  Halfway to my goal of Good God, Nothing Fits Anymore.

When last we met, I was experimenting with Cashew Asparagus/Leek Soup.  Been there, done that, still have some cashews left.  So now it’s time for Curried Cashew Cauliflower Soup.  Quite delicious, I must say.  This also recycles some leeks because–well, because I still have some of those left over too, but they are a welcome addition when chopped fine.

To make this one, you need:

1 1/2 quarts chicken stock, room temperature

1 medium cauliflower

12 oz. raw cashews, pre-soak if desired for 30 minutes

2 Tb. neutral oil for cooking

1/2 large white onion

1 cup leeks, chopped fine

salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder to taste

1/4 cup (or more) hot curry powder

Bear in mind that all amounts are approximate, since I don’t measure while I’m cooking.  Life’s too short to be measured!  They can measure me when I’m gone, I figure.

OK, so there’s a few stages here involving the VitaMix blender.  Really, you could use any blender, but I prefer the VitaMix because 1) it can do a large volume at once, and 2) it’s powerful enough to blend radiator parts, should I want to.

First things first: slice and dice the cauliflower small, for quick cooking.  Drop it into your deep fryer cast-iron skillet, no oil, just add water and cover.  Let it simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t brown or stick.  When it’s sufficiently soft for blending, transfer it elsewhere, cover and set aside.  It will continue to cook a bit, which is A-OK by me.

Back to your skillet.  Clean it, dry it, add the oil and heat.  When it’s ready, add finely chopped onion and leeks.  Stir ’em up.

When onion is getting translucent, pour in about half of the chicken stock and turn down the heat.

Take your cauliflower–remember your cauliflower?–don’t forget your cauliflower–and put it in the blender, making sure it has cooled enough not to melt the plastic.  Cover it with some chicken stock and liquefy, baby!

Now you should have a lovely cauliflower puree.  Whisk it into the skillet along with the rest.  Once it is nice and blended, turn the burner down all the way because it may want to stick at this point.

Don’t worry about cleaning out the blender yet, because now you’re going to dump in the cashews.  Some people say soak ’em first, but this doesn’t feel like a necessary step with the VitaMix.  If your blender is challenged, YMMV.  If you do soak first, drain the soaking water and then add chicken stock to cover.  Liquefy, baby!

Now you have Puree #2, cashews this time.  They’re getting lonely, so time for them to join the party in your skillet.  Whisk ’em on in.

You might have a little foam happening at this point.  Just keep whisking until everything blends together.  If it’s too thick, add more chicken stock.  If you run out, add water.  If you’re a lush, add sherry.  NOT that much!

Bring up the heat a bit to a low simmer, and once it’s bubbling a bit, whisk in your spices.  This is where you don’t want to skimp on the curry powder.  After I did the curry, it still wasn’t hot enough, and I didn’t want it to get too murky, so I adjusted the rest of the heat with cayenne.  Lots of spices could go in at this point, but curry powder is already lots of spices, so I just brought things up to speed with salt and garlic powder.

You’re done!  Lucky you!

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