Asparagus is a vegetable that I grew to like during my years in America - we never cooked with it in Russia. Up until recently, I prepared it the conventional way - steamed or grilled. Every time while cutting off tough ends of the spear, I would chop off a little piece for myself to enjoy its crunchy and fresh flavour. It always tasted better than cooked and the thought of serving raw asparagus often crossed my mind. Asparagus is a wonderful spring vegetable and is especially rich in vitamin K and folic acid, as well as a whole spectrum of other vitamins and minerals.
This soup is as easy in preparation, as it is impressive in taste and presentation. I like to serve it at small gatherings, when other dishes are much more involved. It's also a sure way to impress skeptical eaters. I never announce that dishes are raw prior to my guests tasting them. Instead, I wait for their pleased faces and then surprise them with the news.
The recipe is adapted from Awesome to be Rawsome.
1/4 cup of raw cashew nuts per 6-8 asparagus spears
juice of 1/2 lemon
some purified water
sea salt to taste
I use kelp noodles, which are completely neutral in taste and take on the flavours within your dish, bringing interesting noodle-like texture and loads of health benefits to the plate
Wild mushrooms, prepared according to this recipe
Soak the cashews in purified water for about an hour. Cut or break off tough ends of asparagus and discard them. Cut off the tender tips of the spears and combine with kelp noodles (if using), squeezing the lemon juice over them to marinate for a bit, while you make the soup. Cut the remaining asparagus spears into pieces and put them into a blender together with the cashews. Cover with water, blend until smooth, and add salt if desired. Slice the asparagus tips into smaller pieces. Stir them into the blended mixture along with lemon juice and noodles. When pomegranate is in season, you can sprinkle several kernels on top for an amazing contrast in colour and taste.
Regular "raw," or untoasted cashews that are sold in grocery stores are most often not raw. After harvest, nuts are put through a steaming process, which softens their hard outer shells. Apparently, only a couple of cashew producers use a technique that doesn't involve high temperature steaming. Thus, if it's important to you, look for "really raw cashews" which are available through various websites (although the reliability is often unclear, as there is a lack of regulations).
Apologies for the recent lack of posts. We're both busy as bees. We'll be back up to regular programming in a bit.
Post by: A