Creamy Tomato-Cashew Soup with Herbs

Every year I say it, yet every year it takes me by surprise- how is summer over already? Okay, I suppose it’s not technically over until September 21st, but it sure has been feeling like fall these past few weeks, with cool (i.e. FREEZING!) evenings and the changing colours of the leaves.

Gone are the sunny, poolside days, but here to stay are cozy sweaters and, my favourite, homemade soups! Soups are my ultimate comfort food- and they can be made just as nourishing as they are warming to your insides!

I must admit I’ve never been a fan of tomato soup. The canned kind, so watery and boring, and others, tasting more like a bowl of pasta sauce. This soup is neither! It is luxuriously creamy, thanks to the cashews, and refreshingly bright, thanks to the parsley and basil. It is delicious topped with something crunchy- like homemade croutons (great use for stale bread,  tossed in olive oil and herbs/ spices of your choice, toasted in a 350F oven).

This soup, while containing some protein from the cashews, would benefit from a side to help you feel satisfied! Perhaps the classic grilled cheese pairing, or a hearty chickpea salad.

Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour, then drained
2- 796ml cans no-salt-added tomatoes (I used whole, though diced or crushed would work too)
1- 156ml can tomato paste
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (jarred in oil)
1 cup lightly packed fresh herbs (I used a mix of parsley and basil)
2 medium yellow onions, diced
4  cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp onion powder
Sprinkle of red chili flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Option garnishes: drizzle of olive oil, croutons, fresh basil or parsley, hemp hearts, additional chili flakes, basil or chive oil if you’ve got any, pumpkin seeds, chopped cashews, etc! Be creative!

Directions:
1) Soak cashews in water for at least one hour, until softened. Drain and place in blender with a small amount of the juice from the canned tomatoes, Blend until as smooth as possible.
2) In a large pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the dried oregano and dill, onion powder, chili flakes and salt and pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
3) Add all ingredients (except garnishes, of course!) to the blender, along with the pureed cashews. Blend until smooth.
4) Return mixture to the pot and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.
5) Serve! Top with desired garnishes.

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