One of the most important love languages in our relationship is food, and it contains a sacred lexicon that dictates the kitchen dance performed nightly in our kitchen.
The countertop my fiance and I share is a space of conscious co-creativity - a haven where the desire to eat simple, beautiful and delicious food that heals and fuels your body is revered, and there's always a table for two. This started when we moved in together, and our collective cooking game was instantly maximized as we began to build the lifestyle we desired - a long-lasting partnership focused on health, awareness, love and growth. But it was taken to a whole new level when I began to learn about just how much he appreciated and desired home-cooked rocket fuel, and how kitchen sorcery could fulfill important pillars in both of our lives.
Now I'm sure you've heard the archaic adage about the quickest way to a man's heart being through his stomach. But chances are, this probably wasn't referring to a dish of cruciferous vegetables as capable of bringing a man to his knees. The truth is, it's not tenderloins or pies that really stops my man in his tracks.
I'm pretty sure that his love of broccoli, and all members of the family Brassicaceae began after learning about it's health-touting and cancer-fighting benefits during a very brief vegan stint. But whenever it started, it then moved fast. This is a man who will eat a plate of raw greens for breakfast or use broccoli as a general garnish just to make sure he gets his daily dose. A man who creates powerpoint presentations and shares them with his family to let them know just how important these vegetables really are. And a man who then receives a head of broccoli on every trip to visit relatives, and proceeds to share it with others because he wants them to experience the health benefits too.
So nothing excites me more than when he comes home and I've whipped up some double or triple cruciferous delight. Without fail, he walks in the door, makes himself a bowl and stops short - blown away by the "crucif topped crucif" presented before him. This cashew cream of broccoli soup was no different, and between the creamy base and the garnish that holds all the good flavors of late summer, I think we've found a new recipe in the cookbook of our love.
I always tell friends that while it might be nerdy, it sure beats being with someone who is addicted to sugar or booze. Whether it's brussels sprouts or cauliflower, bok choy or kale, these vegetables have an lasting place on our table and in his heart. While there might just be less sulfur-rich vegetables that are a bit more romantic to the eye, to him, this type of thing is the epitome of love. And for this, good health, and the life that we're building together, I'm always happy to oblige.
Cashew Cream of Broccoli Soup
For the soup:
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 small to medium heads of broccoli, chopped
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 cup basil leaves, chopped
- 3 teaspoons lemon juice
For cashew cream:
- 2 cups raw cashews
- ½ cup water
- Good pinch of Celtic sea salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 ears of sweet corn, cut off cob
- 1 English cucumber
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ cup broccoli, finely diced
- ¼ cup basil, chopped
- 2 cups of cooked millet, quinoa or other grain (optional)
- Bring a few cups of water to a boil, and set the cashews in a large jar. Pour water over cashews and set aside for 1-2 hours. Drain and rinse.
- If including millet or quinoa, set it on the stove to slow cook while you finish the other parts of the soup.
- In a large pot, heat several glugs of olive oil and add onions until softened, but not burnt - about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and a hefty pinch of sea salt and cook for a few more minutes until vegetables are sweat out.
- Add the vegetable broth and filtered water, and bring to a boil.
- Lower to medium heat and add the broccoli florets, cooking for 3-5 minutes, or until broccoli is al dente. Remove from heat.
- Make the cashew cream by the drained cashews and other ingredients in a blender, and mixing. You can add a little more lemon juice for a creamy consistency as needed. Cream should be whipped and smooth. Take half of the cashew cream out of the blender and set aside.
- In batches, add the contents of the pot to the blender, add the basil, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice, and mix until smooth.
- Add soup back to the pot and simmer for another 15-20 minutes on low heat, and season with sea salt to desired taste.
- For the garnish, roast the corn (topped with sea salt and olive oil) on parchment in the over at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Chop the basil, broccoli, and dice the cucumber while it's cooking. Remove corn from the oven, and let cool.
- Mix cucumber, basil, corn, broccoli, sea salt and lemon juice in a separate bowl.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Add a heaping spoonful of millet or quinoa, a 1/4 cup of the cucumber, corn and broccoli garnish, a drizzle of cashew cream, and a few basil leaves.