Raw Cashew and Cucumber Soup

Last fall I photographed The Soup Cleanse Cookbook, written by Nicole Centeno of Splendid Spoon. It was the perfect time of year for this project, with so many fruits and vegetables beautifully in season and so many colors and textures to inspire our photographs. The book doesn’t come out until the end of August (pre-order it here!) but Nicole has been sweet enough to let me share one of our favorite chilled soup recipes. Her Raw Cashew and Cucumber Soup is a great partner for summer—refreshing and full of vegetables and herbs currently bountiful at the farmer’s market. It’s a riff on Turkish cacik, is very simple to make, and is both dairy- and gluten-free.

Food styling by Hadas Smirnoff, prop styling by Martha Bernabe

Food styling by Hadas Smirnoff, prop styling by Martha Bernabe

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups water, divided

1 cup quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1⁄4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained

4 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 cup loosely packed and stripped fresh dill

1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Pinch of ground black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

PROCESS:

1. In a small pot over high heat, bring 2 cups of the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the quinoa, and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. In a small pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the scallions and garlic, stirring, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture is very soft and sweet.

3. In a countertop blender, combine the scallion mixture, cashews, cucumbers, dill, mint, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Puree until very smooth, slowly
adding the remaining 2 cups water as necessary to achieve a thin milkshake consistency. Cover and cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

4. Gently mound a quarter of the quinoa into the bottom of each bowl and ladle the soup on top.