Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Orach and cashew soup

Orach (лобода for those of you in Bulgaria) is a green leafy vegetable, just like spinach. It is easy to find at my local market and looks just like very light green spinach, but seems hard to find on the Internet, where most websites want to sell it as an aphrodisiac. I found that quite charming, since it looks simple and tastes like spinach minus the bitterness. It is also quite easy to clean, which I personally really care about.

My recent love for soups has a few explanations:

1. I have no time to cook a nutritious and healthy meal when I get home from work. I can toss some veggies in boiling water, then take a shower, then puree them and add spices, butter or cheese to make it a complete meal.

2. I get home from work very hungry and I like to have something to eat that's delicious and nutritious right away. I make more soup than I need so I have leftovers to warm up when I get home. Then I make more soup. Genius.

3. I recently saw a cool BBC film, comparing the effects of eating soup with pieces in it and one that was pureed. The scientists made a very good argument about blended soup keeping you fuller longer so I am testing their hypothesis.

In today's great soup for 2 large bowls I used:

4 cups orach (you can use spinach, too)
3 medium carrots
1/2 tbsp Himalayan salt
1.5 oz cashews
4 cups water
2 oz heavy cream
1/2 cup parsley

I boiled the spinach and carrots, coarsely chopped, for 15 minutes. I then used a pan to lightly toast the cashews and added them, together with the salt and cream, to the soup. Using an immersion blender, I blended everything well, then added a few whole cashews to the soup and covered to simmer for 5 more minutes.

This is undoubtedly the most satisfying soup I have had in recent months, mostly because the cashews give a very smooth and earthy texture. Stumbling upon a whole cashew in this soup is a feast by itself. Enjoy!


  1. I like trying new soups. Maybe I'll give this a try. I'm not sure if I'll be able to find orach, but if not - at least I know I can use spinache.

  2. It tastes very very close to spinach, just no bitterness and that spinach mouth feeling :)

  3. I couldn't find orach so I used spinache. I was going to try and serve lamb meatballs on the side and than I thought, hey I'll just put them into the soup. I called it Lamb Meatball, Orach and Cashew soup. The soup was very good and the combination of the soup and lamb meatballs was excellent. Here is a link with the lamb meatballs recipe. http://maryskitchenadventures.blogspot.com/2010/05/lamb-meatball-orach-and-cashew-soup.html

  4. Mary, you are the best. This makes the recipe so much more boyfriend friendly :)

  5. Hey, where does the parsley come in? Cooked with carrots and orach or raw with cream in blender?

  6. I must have left that out, huh. I cooked it with the orach. I really think that's better than raw for this soup. Thanks and good luck ;)


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