Monday, December 6, 2010

Creamy Cashew Chicken Soup with Kale



It looks a little strange, the idea seems odd, but I assure you -- it's fantastic. If you Google West African peanut soup, you'll get tons of recipe results, so clearly I am not alone in my love for this dish. Usually I use peanuts, but since many of my readers avoid these (either for allergy reasons or because they eschew legumes altogether) I tried it with cashews and cashew butter and was very pleased with the results. I think that sunflower seed butter would also work well.

I added lots of kale. I love its texture in soup, because it stays hearty and chewy, which is especially nice for us low-carbers who don't use noodles, rice, or soup dumplings. It makes the soup feel more substantial and is healthy to boot. I always add chayote squash as well, but you could certainly substitute zucchini, string beans, or even sweet potato.

CASHEW CHICKEN SOUP WITH KALE
Serves about 4

INGREDIENTS
  • 1-2 Tbs fat of choice (I used coconut oil)
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 Tbs garlic, minced or pressed (about 3 cloves)
  • 8 oz chicken breast, sliced or cubed
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 chayote squashes, cut into chunks (or another vegetable, see description)
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter, peanut butter, or a combination of both (or you could try sunflower seed butter)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crushed cashews or peanuts for garnish (1-2 oz)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat the oil over medium-high until quite hot. Add the shallots and cook until browned and crisp.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium and add the ginger, garlic, and cayenne. Cook for about a minute. Add the chicken and cook until starting to color.
  3. Add 4 cups of broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the tomatoes, chayote, and kale, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through. Add more broth if desired.
  4. Mix some of the broth with the cashew or peanut butter, then stir it into the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve, garnished with crushed peanuts or cashews.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think this would be a good slow cooker candidate as well.

Christina @ ilovefetacheese said...

Yummm i need to make this...and try of think of an entry for your contest. Unfortunately I don't use dark greens a lot! I need to more

Erica said...

KALE CHIPS, BISH! :P

Karen M. said...

I found your blog through MDA, and have to thank you for this amazing recipe. It's delicious, and I can't wait to try more of your creations. Thanks for the inspiration!

Erica said...

Karen, I'm glad you liked it! It's one of my all-time favorite soups :)

Rubarb said...

Love, love, love this soup!! I've made it a few times now and it's totally my favorite! When I take it for lunch, I'm the envy of the table. :)

Erica said...

Rubarb, awesome to hear! :)

Anonymous said...

Would almond butter be ok rather than peaunut or cashew butter?

Anonymous said...

How long does the soup need to simmer if using a sweet potato?

Anonymous said...

This was linked to a slow cooker top 30 post, but... what are the instructions for slow cooking? It would be nice to know...

Erica said...

That's a good question, anon. I've never made it in the slow cooker. Maybe I'll develop a modified slow-cooker version and post it.

Anonymous said...

Somehow already had most of these ingredients in my fridge/pantry. Can't wait to make it!!! Thanks :)

Erica said...

You will love it! :D

CupKate said...

Did you create a slow cooker version? Love this soup!

Tara S said...

We make this often...I sub almond butter. It's amazing...I accidentally put rainbow chard in once and it turned a shocking color of red...it eventually cooked out, but I thought for sure I was going to have to tell a fast story to get my daughter to eat it.

Kristina Howard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley Ito said...

Does this freeze well?

Monica said...

I'm planning to try this in the slow cooker this week. I'll try to remember to post my experience!

Heidi said...

I used almond butter in place of the cashew butter, and it still turned out pretty good. I'm surprised at the number of people asking for a slow cooker recipe. The brilliance of a slow cooker is you can take the ingredients of any recipe, throw them all together, stir, come back 4-6 hours later, and it's done.

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