Spicy Cajun Soup
Ingredients for the soup:
½ cup raw cashews, soaked
6 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet or yellow onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato, regular potato, or butternut squash
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 (28-ounce/796-mL) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
(or sub with fresh tomatoes - see blog post for my how-to)
2 bay leaves
1-1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun Spice Mix
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 to 2 cups baby spinach or destemmed torn kale leaves
1 ½ cup leftover red beans (or a 15-ounce can of red beans or chickpeas)
Place cashews in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Soak the cashews for 2 hours. Drain and rinse the cashews.
In a blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews with 1 cup of vegetable broth and blend on the highest speed until smooth. Set aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Add the carrots, bell pepper, potato, celery, and diced tomatoes with juices, the remaining 5 cups broth, the cashew cream, and 1-1.5 tablespoons of cajun spice. Stir well to combine . Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Season with salt and black pepper and add the bay leaves.
Simmer the soup, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and black pepper. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the spinach/kale and drained beans.