Lemongrass Curry Soup with Cashew Cream
If you're making cashew cream from scratch, don't forget to leave time for the soak (at least three hours).
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 generous servings
for the cashew cream
- 1 cup whole raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch of sea salt
for the lemongrass curry soup base
- 3 stalks lemongrass outer leaves removed, roughly chopped
- 3 small-medium shallots peeled, roughly chopped
- 3 " piece of ginger peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic peeled, roughly chopped
- 1/2 serrano or jalapeño chile seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 palmful cilantro leaves with their stems
- zest of one lime
- drizzle toasted sesame oil optional
prepare the soup
- 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass curry soup base
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups cooked barley or any similar grain, such as brown rice, farro, or even quinoa
- cashew cream
- sea salt
- 1 green onion sliced diagonally
- 1 palmful shelled pistachios chopped
- radish sprouts
- chopped cilantro
start the cashew cream
Place the cashews in a roomy bowl and cover with filtered water. Cover the bowl with a towel or cling wrap, and leave on the counter for at least three hours (you can soak them overnight, but I'd place the bowl in the fridge).
prepare the lemongrass curry soup base
Place the lemongrass, shallots, ginger, garlic, and chiles in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped (about the consistency of coleslaw). Scrape down the bowl as needed (several times, likely).
Pour a drizzle of olive oil over the base, and add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin. Pulse 10-15 times - scraping the bowl once - until the spices are blended into the base. Scrape down the bowl.
Add another pour of olive oil. Tear up the cilantro and add to the bowl, along with the lime zest, and pulse until mixed, scraping down the bowl frequently. Add another drizzle of olive oil and the toasted sesame oil, if using, and process until the base is a loose paste. Don't forget to - say it with me - scrape down the bowl frequently.
prepare the cashew cream
Drain and rinse the soaked cashews until the water runs clear. Add the cashews and 1/2 cup of fresh filtered water to the jar of a blender. Puree/liquefy for several minutes, until smooth (although it might be somewhat grainy, depending on the power of your blender). Stop the blend and scrape down the sides as needed. Add the lemon juice and salt and do one final blend.
Optional: if you have a regular (vs. a chews-through-glass) blender, you can produce a super creamy cashew cream by passing the blended nut mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the mixture through with a flexible spatula. Don't forget to scrape the underside of the sieve, as the creamy mixture will cling there. (Reserve the strained nut paste for your morning oatmeal - fabulous!)
prepare the soup
Add the oil to a 2 qt pot and heat over medium until the oil shimmers. Spoon in the lemongrass curry paste and heat until very fragrant, stirring frequently (this blooms the spices). Add the stock and water and bring to a simmer. Add cooked barley (or other grains/seeds) and reduce heat to low. Let the soup calm down from its simmer and cool slightly.
Stir in the cashew cream by the tablespoon until the soup reaches your preferred creaminess. Taste and add salt as needed.
To serve, ladle into bowls or mugs, and top with the garnishes of your choice.