Broccoli Leek Soup with Lemon-Chive Cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, finely chopped
  • 1½ pounds broccoli florets cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 3 crowns)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 6-8 hours
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup snipped chives
Before you go to bed at night, or before you go to work in the morning, put one cup raw cashews in a bowl and add water until the water is an inch or two above the top of the cashews. Cover and place in refrigerator.
Making the soup:
  1. In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and the leeks and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the broccoli, garlic, red pepper flakes and broth, season with salt and white pepper and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. While this is cooking, drain the water from the cashews and put them in your food processor. Add a ½ cup water and process until velvety smooth. This can take up to five minutes. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, chives and a pinch of salt and process again.
  3. Remove the lemon-chive cream from the food processor.
  4. When your broccoli is done cooking, let the soup cool slightly and then transfer the soup to the food processor and puree in batches until smooth. Put the soup back into the pot and stir in the lemon-chive cream, reserving some to put on top. Add more salt, if necessary. If the soup seems too thick, add ½ to 1 cup of water.
  5. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and top with a dollop of lemon-chive cream and some snipped chives.
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