I can usually tell when life starts to feel a bit hectic and unpredictable because I start craving soup. Soup was the first thing I ever learned how to cook and it has been a longtime standby in my kitchen. It doesn't matter if it is the middle of summer... soup can be an incredible comfort food any time of the year.
This soup is decadently creamy, which comes from blending raw cashews. With the healthy fats and protein from the nuts, it doesn't take much to make this a full meal. Just add your favorite summer salad (of course, I highly recommend this one) and maybe a good loaf of bread. And if you don't share my warm soup craving in the middle of July, just know this can be served cold instead of warm.
Note: If you do not have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, you might want to soak the cashews in water to soften them for about an hour before blending them in with the soup. (Drain them before blending.) Also, I used dried herbs, but if you are using fresh, add them just a few minutes before blending.
Creamy Fennel and Broccoli Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 heads of broccoli (florets and stem), chopped (about 12 cups)
1 medium fennel head (bulb and fronds), chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1 cup raw cashews
Add the oil to a pot over medium heat. Saute the onions for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and saute an additional minute. Add the broccoli, fennel, herbs, and salt, and cover with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until just tender.
Add the cashews and then blend the soup by using an immersion blender or transfering it to a regular blender. (If using a regular blender, be very careful as the steam can sometimes cause the lid to blow off. I recommend allowing the soup to cool for a few minutes, then blending small batches while holding the lid down with a large pot holder or towel in hand).
Blend until cashews are completely blended and soup is thick and creamy. Serve warm.