Because I’m still on an asparagus kick this spring, today’s post features this recipe for Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup!
Why do I think asparagus is so great, besides being delicious? For one, it’s loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as folate, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. And according to an amazing book I read recently called Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods (which I explain more about in the Banana, Wild Blueberry, and Nectarine Smoothie Bowl recipe post), asparagus is alkalizing to the body and helps to battle cancer, inflammation, and nerve issues. HOORAY to that!
And why a vegan version of the soup? Well, I’m not vegan, but I often make vegan or vegetarian dishes because I HEART plants. When I was mentally cooking up this recipe for cream of asparagus soup, I decided to use plant-based methods for making it creamy rather than dairy-based ingredients because as much as it pains me to say it, dairy is NOT my friend at this juncture in my life (it’s never really been; I had to drink soy formula as a baby and experienced several years of intense lactose intolerance as a teen, but I was cool with the dairy for the last decade-plus – until recently. We’re definitely in a spat again.). So I’m trying to eat it sparingly and infrequently.
While I love being sans the dairy side effects, I long for the creaminess it provides to dishes. Enter the DELECTABLY CREAMY Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup! It contains potatoes and nut butter, two ingredients that I’ve discovered are commonly used in vegan soup recipes as key components in providing plant-based creaminess. And you know what? This recipe has proved to me that THEY WORK! They help to provide that wonderfully silky mouth-feel that cream-based soups have – without the dairy that is problematic to so many of us. Heck yes to that!
The specific nut butter used in this recipe is cashew butter. If you can’t find unsweetened cashew butter in a store, you can easily make your own by grinding 2 cups of roasted cashews in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy (it will take about 10 minutes, but it’s SO worth it!). Or you can try swapping in unsweetened almond butter or peanut butter, which I suspect would work just as well. I decided to go with cashew butter rather than cashews in their full form (another ingredient oft-cited in vegan soup recipes) because I figured it would make blending the soup a heck of a lot easier. I figured that because honestly, the first draft of this recipe was a HOT, HOT mess.
In that version, I used raw cashews rather than the cashew butter and a food processor to blend the soup rather than a blender. Even though I processed the soup in batches, adhering to my machine’s max fill line for liquids, soup dribbled out of the seams of the lid onto the counter and sprayed onto the wall. I wish I would’ve thought to take a photo so I could illustrate the mayhem here, because it was straight hilarity!
For fear that the whole of my kitchen would end up looking like Slimer from Ghostbusters had paid a visit, I didn’t run the processor long enough to get the cashews pulverized to a creamy enough consistency. So basically, what resulted from Draft 1 was a soup that was relatively tasty (for one that had nut chunks in it) but that I had to chew. And I hadn’t intended to chew a pureed soup.
So, on to Draft 2! I substituted the cashew butter for the whole cashews. Other key changes: I halved the amount of stock used, increased the number of potatoes included from one to two, and ran the soup through the blender instead of the food processor, thus avoiding the dribbly mess. And the result was . . . Success!
This project was a reminder that while my food processor is a remarkable tool that I adore, my humble, college-era blender can best it in situations such as these. That blender lid is solid, and as long as I keep a hand on it while it runs for precaution’s sake, liquid will not be shooting out anywhere!
Worth sharing: if you’d like to make your own homemade vegetable stock for this recipe using veggie scraps, check out this recipe post for Spicy Black Bean Soup, where I describe how I do that.
OK, on to the recipe and gloriously creamy, vegan-y, asparagus-laced goodness!
*Note: this post contains an affiliate link to a product I use and love.*