Vegan MoFo: Day Two

Day Two: Tomato-Fennel Soup with Gremolata and Cashew Cream Drizzle
It's day two of Vegan MoFo and things are going swimmingly! According to Vegan MoFo Headquarters International, there are 556 bloggers participating, and surely more to follow. The sign-up sheet closes at the end of the day, so anyone still interested in participating in MoFo 2010 should mowsey on that a-way. I've only browsed a handful of blogs, but I'm already inspired. Numerous high-fives and pats on the back to everything that I've seen thus far. Mo Betta Vegan is planning to tackle to Video blogging, and Scratch and Sniff is covering my favorite meal of the day: Lunch! I'll also be keeping a sharp eye on Amey from Vegan Eats & Treats - who wouldn't want to travel Around the World in 30 Days with another vegan?

As for me, the task of balancing work, cooking and blogging has been surprisingly smooth, and I am excited to share the rest of my creations. During the process of establishing this week's menu, I was very apprehensive. To be honest, Matt and I are not fancy people. We enjoy simplicity without loosing sight of what is important to us. Fine Dining? Me, and in our kitchen? Needless to say, I had my reservations. The courses that I planned to make this week were dissimilar from what I make on a regular basis. The choice to blog more elegant cuisine was fostered out of my desire to cook more thoughtfully while maintaining the simplicity that drives my life and is the inspiration for most of the food that I eat. I'm trying to use this week's menu as a means to expose the "overpriced and underportioned" meals so many people are reluctant to taste or cook. When really, fine dining is about simplicity. It's about the purity of the ingredients (and often their plating!). What a spiel! Let's get to the goods already.

Tomato-Fennel Soup with Gremolata and Cashew Cream Drizzle

On a whim I purchased a medium size fennel bulb from my local produce market, intending on finding a use for it (other than tickling my nostrils with the whispy leaves!). This soup is full of such complex flavor, and it will warm you to the core on the nights approaching winter. It's topped with a rich and tangy gremolata and a trill of cashew cream.

Tomato-Fennel Soup with Gremolata and Cashew Cream Swirl
serves 4

2 T olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb, whispy ends removed, cored and finely chopped
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1/2 vegetable broth
1/4 cup gremolata (recipe below)
1/4 cup cashew cream (recipe below)

Heat a large stockpot and add oil. Add chopped fennel, shallots and carrot and saute until softened but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice along with vegetable broth and raise the heat to High. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered. Allow to simmer approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle soup to blender or food processor (in batches if necessary). Blend until smooth. Laddle soup into individual serving vessels and top with one tablespoon of gremolata. Using a spoon, drizzle cashew cream onto of soup.

1/4 cup parsley
2 garlic gloves
1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Using a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the skin from the lemon and chop finely. Mince the garlic and the parsley. Combine in a small bowl and add the olive oil. Stir with a fork and refrigerate until needed.

Cashew Cream
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup almond milk or water
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh ground black peper, or to taste
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional

Add cashews to food processor or high speed blender. Pulse into fine uniform crumbs. With the food processor or blender running, slowly add the almond milk or water until a thick paste begins to form. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until combined. Add more liquid to reach desired consistency. It should be thick, but viscious enough to drizzle on soup. Taste for salt and pepper. Adjust to preferences. Set aside until needed. 


  1. barbara11/02/2010

    I want some of this - it looks soooo good.

  2. barbara11/02/2010

    Kayla miss you happy to read your blog as if keeps us informed.

  3. GANGDAMMIT! I just wanna dive straight into that bowl - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colours and I swear I can almost smell it if I push my nostrils right up close to the monitor.

  4. @barbara Thanks Graham! It was really tasty!

  5. this soup looks awesome! i'm never sure what to do with fennel, so thanks for the idea!

  6. That soup looks fantastic! I freakin' love fennel, and I bet combining it with tomatoes is great... and the cashew cream is a great topper! Way to be.