During the winter, it's all about soup for me. A steamy bowl of Indian dhal, smoky split pea, or this Creamy Greens Soup makes the perfect lunch or light supper. Soup is nourishing, warms the body, and the varieties are endless. Whether you like a spicy black bean chili, a coconut-corn chowder, or a brothy Vietnamese pho, there is a soup for everyone. 

In other countries, soup is a staple meal. Throughout Asia, you'll see people sipping oversized bowls at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The nutrition packed into one bowl—through the broth, vegetables, grains, legumes, herbs, and spices—makes soup an ideal meal. Although it doesn't get the attention it deserves here in the US, when the temperature drops, it becomes front and center in my house. There is always a pot of soup in the fridge, and a day rarely goes by when I don't enjoy a bowl.

I created this soup after being inspired by something similar I had in a restaurant. You know it's going to be healthy with the Swiss chard, kale, and spinach, and then I make it creamy with raw cashews (I always prefer to use the whole nut verus nut butters or store-bought milks). The addition of fresh rosemary and thyme make it especially aromatic, and I love the subtle flavor of the white wine. As with all my recipes, this soup comes together quickly and tastes delicious (if I may say so myself). I wouldn't have it any other way!

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion or leeks
  • 1 teaspoon + pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups chopped Swiss chard
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

What you do:

  1. Over medium-high heat, heat water in a soup pot. Add onion and a pinch of sea salt, sautéeing until fragrant and the water evaporates. Add white wine (or water) to deglaze the pan, stirring for one minute.
  2. Add carrots and celery, and sauté until no liquid remains. Add garlic, rosemary, and thyme, and cook for one minute.
  3. Add Swiss chard, kale, and spinach, stirring together ingredients. Pour in water or vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt, and simmer for 1 more minute.
  4. In a blender, place cashews and 1 cup soup liquid. Blend until a creamy consistency, and then add half of remaining soup. Blend until creamy and add back to soup pot.

Healthy hints:

  • >> These days, we're all busier than ever. Once you get the technique of soup-making down, you can whip up a pot in less than an hour and then have it throughout the week. But if that's just not going to happen, pick up a quart at a natural food store or vegetarian restaurant. I do this more often than I'd like to admit, and it's a great way to stay healthy when short on time.

  • >> I typically make my soups with water, but if you have the time, use a homemade vegetable stock! I am not a fan of storebought stocks, but soups definitely go to the next level when using vegetable stock.

  • >> For years, I couldn't fathom the thought of owning a slow cooker. My mom had one in the 70s, and I just didn't like the idea of food cooking for hours. But after being gifted one and reluctantly trying it out, I am a convert. Throw in the ingredients, turn on the switch, and you're done. Check out Robin Robertson's Fresh From the Vegan Slow Cooker for some great recipes, and stay tuned for some of my favorites!

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