By Samantha Turnbull

When I was a kid, winter was my favourite season. Every morning I would run down the stairs, turn on the radio, and cross my fingers waiting for another snow day. If I was so lucky that the weather cancelled my education for the day, I would pull my snowsuit right over my pajamas and leap outside into the snow to build snowmen, make snow forts and go tobogganing. I would eventually get so frozen that I would toddle my frozen self back inside, peel off the layers of soaking winter wear, then wrap myself in a bundle blankets and hunker down in front of a movie until I thawed.

My mom was well aware of my freezing routine and would have a big bowl of soup waiting for me, made with whatever she could scrounge up from the fridge. Whether you put off going to the grocery store or you are completely snowed in, it’s pretty likely there may be a big bunch of celery in the back of the fridge. Combine the celery with the creaminess of cashews and you create a soup that is velvety, deeply flavoured and totally lick-the-spoon scrumptious until the last drop.

Vegan Cream of Celery Soup, Courtesy of Samantha Turnbull, itdoesnttastelikechicken.com, Toronto, ON

After a long day of building snowmen and tobogganing, there’s nothing quite like coming home to a hot bowl of creamy soup.
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Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 cups (1 L) vegetable broth
1 cup (250 mL) water
? cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
1 bay leaf
½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
½ cup (125 mL) raw cashews
salt to taste
pepper to taste
celery leaves (optional)

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion and garlic; sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, or until celery and onion begin to soften and look translucent.
2. Add vegetable broth and water, then slowly whisk in flour, mixing well to break up lumps. Add bay leaf, thyme and raw cashews. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until cashews are very soft.
3. Remove bay leaf, then blend soup in small batches, being careful not to fill blender too full, so it doesn’t overflow. Blend soup very well, so cashews are completely blended.
4. Return to pot briefly to reheat. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with celery leaves, if desired.

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It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Hi! I’m Sam. I created, run, write and photograph the blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. I like vegan food, and I hope to show you that vegan food should really just be called food. It’s not as weird as it sounds – I promise!