Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Creamy spring risotto soup (vegan)

Just as I delight in discovering asparagus all over again each year, so I delight in rediscovering a favourite recipe for spring risotto soup.  I found it many years ago when I first started blogging and had a tough time.  This recipe was easy enough for me to make when I had no energy for cooking.  This year I have made it a few times with glorious farmers market asparagus when I have had little time after work.

When I first decided to make this risotto a few weeks back after asparagus appeared at the farmers market, I was surprised to find there was no Arborio rice in the pantry.  It seems I have not been making risotto that much lately.  I actually planned to try a new risotto recipe and then found this one was close enough and I knew it was easy and full of greens.  I tried it with couscous and it was not the same.  This is easier than regular risotto because you all all the water at once and don't have to constantly stir it.

So I bought some Arborio rice.  However my recipe I usually use is served with parmesan and pinenuts, neither of which I had.  And regular readers will notice I am quite in love with a cashew cream recipe lately.  It added the flavour and protein to make it a complete meal.  I make the disclaimer that I have never been one for adding lots of creaminess to risotto.  I never liked eggs or cream so why would I add these to a gorgeous risotto.

The cashew cream ramps up the comfort factor in a risotto that already melts in the mouth in the most pleasing way.  Of course you could also add some parsley, pinenuts and even parmesan if you have them on hand.  But this way is quite easy if you have a tub of cashew cream.  I am looking forward to enjoying this risotto a few more times before asparagus season ends.

I am sending this risotto to Shaheen (and VegHog) for their Eat Your Greens blog event.

More asparagus recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Asparagus, artichoke and wild rice salad (gf, v)
Asparagus, potato and quinoa soup (gf, v)
Asparagus, strawberry and greens salad with poppyseed dressing (gf, v)  
Chunky asparagus and cashew dip (gf, v)
Crustless asparagus and potato quiche

Spring risotto soup with cashew cream
Serves 4
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe

1 medium leek
1-2 tbsp vegan margarine
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup (200g) Arborio rice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1.2 litres boiling water
2 1/2 tsp vegie stock powder
1/2 tsp salt
good shake of pepper
2 cups (250g) fresh or frozen peas
2 small bundles (500g) asparagus spears
1/4 cup cashew cream

Optional garnish: chopped parsley and toasted pinenuts

Cut the leek into 4 lengthways and wash between the layers.  Bring kettle to boil.

Cut into 0.5cm slices.  Heat the butter and margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and cook til softened (approx 4-6 mins). Add rice and garlic.  Stir to coat with oil.  Add hot stock and simmer for 15 minutes (or 13 minutes for thicker asparagus).  Stir occasionally.

While the rice is simmering, prepare vegetables. Break the woody ends off asparagus and chop into 2-4cm lengths.  When rice is almost cooked, a lot of the water will be absorbed. Add asparagus and cook for 4 minutes (or 6 if thick asparagus), stirring more frequently so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan.  Stir in peas and bring to the boil.  Stir in cashew cream.

If desired, serve with parsley and toasted pinenuts.

NOTES: You could add other greens.  I have added broccoli in the past.  Green beans would work.  I considered kale.  It would be lovely with some fried asparagus on top.  The amounts of greens I have given are indicative and depend on what is available.  If you have some nice stock, substitute it for the boiling water and stock powder and check the seasoning.  If it is too savoury, add a tsp of apple cider vinegar to lighten the flavour.  I have tried this and it worked well.  If all the water does not get absorbed that is fine as this can be served as a soup.  I find that the water usually is absorbed but it is still quite wet.

On the stereo:
The Bottom of the Lake: Tinpan Orange


  1. Your recipe is the kind I love: a method more than a strict list of ingredients. Lots of flexibility. Adaptable!

    best... mae at

  2. Now you mention it I haven't made risotto in a while either, but when I do - I have to confess it been either with mushrooms or asparagus. Yours looks delicious and my husband would be all over it. I am not one for creaminess in a risotto but will look to make your cashew cream some time soon. Thank you so much for sharing with #EatYourGreens.

  3. I think I tried to make a risotto once about a million years ago and never made one again - I'm not sure I have the right temperament! I think I shy away from risottos because there was a phase over here when mushroom risotto was the only veg*n option on pub and restaurant menus for years, so I overindulged and could never go back! That said, I remember the best one I ever had was from a place in Melbourne - maybe it's a sign I need to give them a go again?!

  4. I don't often make risotto as hubby isn't keen on it and I don't mind it although I get bored halfway through the bowl. I do love rice though so I don't know why this happens!

  5. I do love asparagus - this looks lovely.

  6. This sounds delicious!
    ~Have a lovely day!

  7. This is my kind of recipe! Easy, adaptable and with delicious end results. I love risotto. If I have leftovers, I adore turning them into arancini balls (which I thought I was clever and invented back when I discovered leftover risotto!)... but I must admit, leftovers are rare :)

  8. What a neat idea adding all the liquid directly, I'll need to try that too. The risotto looks lovely, and I'm always ready for an asparagus risotto! Thank you for sharing with Eat Your Greens!


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