QUICK MEALS: Creamy Cashew Nut & Garlic Onion soup w/ Homemade Breadsticks

VERDICT: This is a thick and rich soup and could substitute as a single meal with the bread. Decrease the amount of garlic if you are not used to strong tastes. The herbs flavours and adds dimension to the soup.

If your soup is too thin, add more oats (Uncooked) to the soup as you are blending. Be careful you do not add too much, as it will cause the soup to thicken too much. Imagine overstarched, sticky liquid.

I woke up late morning, starving hungry.

A friend of mine and me has been discussing about ways to thicken soups just the other day.

Soup has been on my mind.

 

While I have not truely made a thickened/pureed soup from scratch yet, I have thickened stews with cornstarch. 

 I made a pot of Middle Eastern inspired spiced Stew a week before with Chicken & Lemon and lots of spices. Yum. Which by chance was supposed to be ‘soup’ but I was caught between reducing the broth to stew or jeopardize it by adding water. Stew it was. Which therefore, invited Ms Corntstarch into the picture. (I did not ant to reduce the stew too much to overcook the chicken, and I wanted the one dish meal to be hearty).

 J. was making a pot of corn soup the other day. And tried to thicken it with cornstarch. We both agreed adding starch to broth is not a good way to thicken it. The sticky like consistency (Depending on how much starch you have aded) was not pleasing to the eye. And to be honest, I find it a ‘cheater-bug’ way to make thick soup.

Anyway! In the spirit of experimenting, wanting a fast meal and a curiousity to make better soup.

I was inspired by Garlic (Vichyssoise from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook came to mind. Quick flip through my *notes*) and decided to make my own version of Garlic Soup. No potatoes nor Leeks = Sad. Let’s see what I can come up with.

I spy a huge bag of unsalted Cashew Nuts in the refridgerator :)

How about a nutty garlicky flavoured soup? With fresh hot off the toaster breadsticks? MMMmm mm MMM.

Oats & Nuts reminds me of the grains intake I will have for the day :)

Packing this for a taste session!

SOUP (Improvisation) STEPS: Might scare you a little. Whipped up in 30minutes maximum. Makes 3 Portions.

2 Cluster Garlic

1 Small Onion

1/2 Tsp Italian Herbs

2 Tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1 Knob Unsalted Butter

3 Bowls Water

1/2 Bowl Quaker Oats

Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Start with two cluster of Fresh Garlic. Crushed and peeled. Throw them in a pot with dashes of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Added a chopped Red Onion. 1/2 tsp Italian Herbs.
  • Quick stir, add butter. Saute till a little browned for garlic & onions. Crumble in Chicken stock cube (Organic) and 1Tbsp Beef Stock Granules (I used a Korean Brand). Stir and add 3 Bowls of Water.
  • NOTE: You can always add more water afterwards. When the soup is blended and seasoned.
  • Bring broth to a boil then turn down to simmer for 10minutes.
  • Add 1/2 Bowl of Quaker Oats to the soup at this point. Stir to prevent the oats from congealling, The soup at this point will not be thick, but you can see it thicken a little bit.
  • Prepare Blender (Yes, the type you make milkshakes with). Check if the garlic is softed, if so. Ladle two scoops at a time to blender, set to lowest speed for blender. MAKE SURE YOU COVER YOUR BLENDER. To prevent the soup from spilling out when blending (Think Shooting spurts of soup in your face people!.) – HOT SOUP CAUTION.
  • Adding 2 ladles of soup at a time to blender. (I realise by not turning off the blender each time I pour in a ladle of soup, it does not spill much).
  •  Season with salt and pepper, add more Italian Herbs/Cashew nuts if you like it nutty. This is a good time to add water if you like to adjust the consistency. Blend.
  • The end result will be a smooth creamy puree. Imagine wafts of garlic and herbs, mm..
  • SERVE HOT. 

 

****************************************************************

'Breadsticks' fresh from the oven toaster.

Easy Homemade Breadsticks/Croutons: 10minutes

3 Slices White Bread

EVOO

Italian Herbs

Seasoned Salt (I used Lawry’s Seasoned Salt)

 

  • Drizzle in EVOO to Hot pan.
  • Slice bread into sticks of 4 per slice (You can cut it into smaller squares resembling croutons if you like)
  • Add bread to pan, fry on both sides till light brown. Make sure you drizzle EVOO to the uncooked side of bread before flipping. This is to ensure the bread is evenly fried.
  • When the bread is a tad browned, transfer to a toaster tray. Pop in oven toaster for approx 3-5mins (Depending on your oven temperature)
  • Texture should be dry resembling biscuits when you take them out of the oven. Sprinkle Italian Herbs and Salt, toss.
  • Serve Hot with the soup.

 

Did a quick google on the method to thicken soups using Oats – Voila!

I was correct, this is a possible method. Replace starch with the use of grains. It thickens also.

Blending my soup makes it creamier and minimises the textures from the different ingredients.

Creamed/pureed soups to me, emphasis alot on the taste of the ingredients. When the eater will not be able to visually ‘taste’ the soup. But though smell and actual tasting.

Which in this case mainly the Garlic and then the Cashew nuts.

Oats are inexpensive and a rich source of fibre.It contains a specific type of fibre – Beta Glucan. Which is crucial to maintaining healthy cholestrol levels. Also, Oats reduces the risk of heart disease.

Apparently, meals that contain a good amount of fibre wioll make you feel fuller more quickly and leave you stisfied much longer. That allows you to eat less and and in turn cut calories and shed unecessary weight.

I am beginning to think I am a advocate for fast meals.

With an emphasis towards good use of ingredients and experimentation of taste and cooking methods.

I dare not call myself a great cook but a learner along the way.

Lately, making healthy meals has been a focus of mine.

To keep up with the fast paced lifestyle if/when one is working and have little time to make our own meals. With emphasis on fresh ingredients, nutrient rich foods and home made joy.

I hope you find this recipe and enjoyed it as I did.

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