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This recipe is a veganized version of Emeril’s Cucumber Soup found here.  The cashew sour cream is a modification of this recipe. 
Ingredients:
  • 6 cucumbers (6 pounds), peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (12 cups)
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, minced (I used the seeds out of one of the peppers)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups plain soy yogurt
  • 1 recipe cashew sour cream (see below)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • rounded 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • rounded 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • for garnish: fresh minced chives and extra batch of cashew sour cream

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except garnish in a large bowl.  Working in batches, puree the ingredients in a blender until very smooth.  Transfer the soup to the refrigerator until well chilled, at least 2 hours.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Serve soup with each bowl with a sprinkle or two of salt and garnished with a dollop of sour cream and some minced chives.

Cashew Sour Cream

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in 1 1/2 cups water overnight or longer, and drained
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon (1-2 Tbsp)
  • 1/3 cup water

Blend all ingredients in a blender for a few minutes till smooth (you may have to scrape the sides of the blender a couple times to ensure all the cashew pieces are incorporated).

This was both creamy and light, with a little kick! …perfect summer soup.

I had a lot of extra blackberries leftover from the PPK facebook challenge, and I haven’t been eating enough salad this week… so here’s my answer to both of those!

Blackberry Walnut Dressing

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (you could probably use apple slices too since this will be going through a sieve)
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon (more if you want a more acidic dressing, I also suggest adding a vinegar if you want this to be more of a vinaigrette)
  • 1 Tbsp packed mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

First, blend together blackberries, apple juice, lemon juice, and enough water to almost cover blackberries (leave about and inch or two of blackberries above the water).

Now pour the blended mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Whisk/quickly scrape the bottom of the sieve with a spoon until most of the liquid is in the bowl and you are left with only thick pulp and seeds in the sieve.

Return mixture to blender and add mint and walnuts. Blend till smooth. At this point you can add more lemon or vinegar for more acidity, more apple juice for more sweetness, or more walnuts for a creamier dressing.

Now pour into a storage container of some kind. I really like these little dressing bottles from Fry’s grocery store.

I served on a bed of romaine, spinach, mixed baby greens, and moringa leaves (sometimes the farmer’s market has the randomest stuff!) and topped with dressing and cranberries.

“Constructed Shawarma”: Chocolate Blackberry BBQ Tempeh, Black-eyed Pea Hummus, with a Minty Slaw and Whole Wheat Lavosh

Chocolate Blackberry BBQ Sauce

3/4 cup blackberries, blended in half the amount of water and strained through mesh/fine colander

1 cup apple juice

6 oz tomato paste

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp shallots, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, diced

1 clove garlic

3-4 mint leaves

2 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 71% cacao), chopped

1 Tbsp dry mustard

2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp clove

1/4 tsp coriander

Method: In a large frying pan on high heat, combine and whisk all ingredients.  Add 4 oz tempeh strips (cut like you would for tempeh bacon).  Bring to a boil and turn to low, stirring (gently) occasionally while prepping other ingredients.

 Black-eyed pea Hummus

1 can of black-eyed peas, rinsed/drained

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp tahini

2 Tbsp vegetable broth

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp salt

4 mint leaves chopped

Method: Blend all ingredients in a food processor till smooth, scraping down sides if necessary and adding more veggie broth if needed for smoothness

Slaw

3 Tbsp chopped green cabbage

2 Tbsp finely diced cucumber

1 Tbsp finely diced red onion

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 mint leaves

pinch of salt

Method: Mix all ingredients till combined

PLATING: Place 3-4 strips of tempeh flat on the plate. Top with 3-4 more strips so they are perpendicular to the first level.  Continue until you have 5-6 layers of tempeh.  Poke with a few toothpicks and cut with a ring mold.  Remove toothpicks, and fill ring mold with hummus and then slaw.  Remove ring mold and top with a folded triangle of whole wheat lavosh (trader joe’s).

(to view the rules of this PPK challenge click here)