Cashew “Cream”

We adore a thick puree of cashews and call it cashew cream – a thick puree flavoured with cardamom, blitzed until it is as smooth. It is similar to cashew yoghurt which is all the rage for vegans as a substitute for dairy yoghurt. My cream and their yoghurt are really thick unstrained versions of cashew milk. (The yoghurt is often cultured by adding probiotics and leaving it to ferment. I have not done this, but my version can be vegan if you avoid the optional dairy additions.)

I find that the best result is with a high speed blender like a Vitamix or similar. I experimented with my pretty powerful food processor too, but even after 5 mins of processing the result was still gritty. The blender made short work of it and the result is as smooth as a baby’s you know what!

The cream is very easy to make, and we use it with fruit, Asian desserts and in some of our rare desserts. Imagine it stirred through a rice pudding, for example. Drizzled over your muesli. Topping your eggless custard. Forming a base for poached or roasted fruits. Stirred through sago. Drizzling over payasam, or over some jam on Aussie Scones. On roasted figs.

If the cashews are soaked overnight it is quick to whip this up in the morning, and drizzle over muesli and fruits. Or make banana toast by spreading toast with the cashew cream and adding a layer of sliced or mashed banana.

Similar recipes include Bondi Bircher Muesli, and Overnight Oats for Amazing Breakfasts.

Browse our Yoghurt recipes, or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Velouté d’asperges | Cream of Asparagus Soup

This soup, so they say, is reminiscent of the creations of the 18th century French grande cuisine. Asparagus was introduced by the Italians during the Renaissance, and was part of a change in eating habits that saw vegetables introduced into grande cuisine. Previously they had been considered the food of peasants.

This soup is thick, smooth and delicate as well as utterly delicious. It is simple to make with easily accessible ingredients. It is the perfect soup for year-round enjoyment, as it can be served cold in Summer and hot in Winter.  We’ve been making this soup since the early 2000’s.

The soup can also be made quickly and easily in any high speed blender that also heats foods as it blends. I have given the instructions for making it this way as well as the usual, stove-top method. In the blender it takes around 15 mins, including cooking the asparagus. When you are using the high speed blender (mine is a Vitamix), then there are no worries about stringy stalks on the asparagus – all is blended into a smooth, perfect soup.

Similar recipes include Cold Cucumber Soup, Sweet Cashew Cream, Minty Cucumber Yoghurt Soup, French Bean and Leek Soup, Spring Onion and Green Pea Soup, Chilled Asparagus Soup, Gentle Asparagus Soup, and Asparagus Raita.

Check out our collection of:

Browse all of our other Asparagus Soup recipes, our Asparagus recipes, and our French dishes. Or explore our Late Autumn dishes.

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Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus has that gentle flavour that makes it an ideal Spring vegetable, especially for soups. Asparagus soups do not have the heaviness of Winter soups, and as we emerge from jumpers, scarves, hats and overcoats, it is a delight to have its gentleness.

I don’t mean to imply that this soup should be kept only for Spring – indeed it will be a staple in your kitchen from Spring right through to the end of Autumn, at the times you can source decent asparagus. This recipe is a take on the recipe that appeared in Moosewood all those years ago – you Woodstock fans will know what I mean (and I am not referring to the bird!). It is a little different to the French Cream of Asparagus that we have also been making for quite a number of years.

This soup can be made in a high speed blender, one that heats the soup as it blends. While it misses the sweetness that can only be found in slowly cooked onions, sauteed asapragus and toasted roux, it is still a great option for evenings after a long day at work.

Similar recipes include Sweet Cashew Cream, French Cream of Asparagus Soup, Chilled Asparagus Soup and Gentle Asparagus and Turmeric Soup.

Check out our collection of:

Browse all of our Asparagus dishes and all of our Soups. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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How to Make Nut Milk and Oat Milk

Nut milk and Oat Milk are healthy and delicious. Right now, there is some controversy regarding calling the liquid produced by grinding nuts, oats or other ingredients as milk, – the producers and sellers of milk from animals are asking that the name be changed and that nut and other non-dairy milks are not shelved next to dairy milk in supermarkets.

But for the moment I will keep that name, as it describes its appearance and use quite well. For example, the name coconut milk is well accepted and never confused with dairy milk. Non dairy milks are quite easy to make – fore example, nuts are soaked, then ground with water, sieved and stored. Various drinks can be made with these milks, and today I include a nut milk with dates and vanilla. Delicious.

Non dairy milks can be used as a substitute for dairy milk and cream in recipes including soups, baked goods and shakes. The milk can be sweetened with a variety of natural sweeteners including vanilla, honey, and pitted dates.

Having a high speed blender is not essential, but it does help as it grinds the ingredients to a finer powder than lower speed ones. But quite adequate milks can be made in other blenders and also food processors.

Similar recipes include Making Nut Butters.

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Potage Crème de Tomates et de Pommes de Terre | Cream of Tomato and Potato Soup with Leeks

Today we have one of Elizabeth David’s Divine Dishes, a Retro Recipe – one we have been making for decades. It is a Soup for late Summer and Early Autumn through to Winter (tip – freeze tomatoes in Autumn so that you can make this soup in Winter).

This is so simple, cheap but flavoursome, and quite beautiful. Elizabeth David claims that you can taste the butter, the cream and each vegetable. You can!

Similar recipes include How to Make Perfect Cream Soups, Sweet and Sour Leeks with Burrata, Creamy Tomato Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger, Roasted Tomato and Sweet Corn Soup, and Rustic Tomato Soup with Feta.

Browse our our Soup recipes and our French recipes. We have various Potato Soups and Tomato Soups. Or just explore our Late Autumn Dishes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can explore more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

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Blending Fruits and Vegetables in Your High Speed Blender

The Vitamix might be one of the best purchases I have made for the Kitchen. It has been a surprise to find that it is used several times a day. And one of the best parts is its self-clean function – cleaning the blending jugs is a no-fuss activity.

One of its key features is the ability to add fruit to the blender to produce a morning drink, complete with the fibre – the high power of the blender means that the drink is smooth and drinkable without feeling like you are chewing on pulp.

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How to Make Nut Butters

It is good to minimise the use of margarine type spreads because none of them are very healthy. Still use them, of course, but aim for moderation. It is easy to replace margarine at times with pureed avocado or hummus or other bean-based spreads (home made). Check out our growing list of purees of all sorts, dips too, that can be used in place of butter. Nut butters are another alternative.

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