|For the soup|
|3 ½ oz||Fresh spinach|
|1 oz||Cilantro (fresh coriander)|
|½||Avocado (3.5 oz)|
|¼||Lime (0.59 oz)|
|1 ⅜ oz||Pistachios|
|250 ml||Tap water (8.8 oz)|
|1 tsp||Sea salt (0.18 oz)|
|To achieve the right consistency|
|250 ml||Tap water (8.8 oz)|
For the soup
Wash and clean the spinach and cilantro leaves and then shake gently.
If desired, you can use the cilantro stems, but you should remove the spinach stems as they are fibrous and difficult to eat.
Coarsely chop the leaves and add to the blender.
Cut the avocado in half, scoop out the pulp from one half, and add to the blender. Cut the lime in quarters, peel, and add one-quarter to the blender. If it is an organic lime and has a soft peel, you can also blend the peel (washed).
The other half of the avocado should be stored with the pit intact — this way it stays fresh longer. Or you can make an avocado cream right away by adding a few dashes of the remaining lime.
Add the pistachios and water to the other ingredients in the blender. Salt and purée. The mixture should be “smooth and viscous.”
It is generally best to soak nuts ahead of time as this improves both the consistency and nutritional value of soups. However, soaking isn’t required for this soup since pistachios are quite soft and easy to purée.
To achieve the right consistency
Stir the water into the mixture until you achieve a creamy consistency. Then serve the raw vegan spinach cream soup and enjoy.
If you would like to eat the soup warm, it works best to heat the water slightly before stirring it in. The soup can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 days.
Fresh or cooked spinach: Instead of fresh spinach, you can also use frozen spinach. You should choose fresh products, whenever possible, and especially for raw dishes. Fresh products usually taste better and, in addition, frozen products are more likely to have been exposed to bacteria. For many people, the choice is based on cost. Since the leaves are delicate, transport is quite expensive, which makes fresh spinach sold at the grocery store much more expensive than processed (frozen) spinach.
Packaged spinach: Spinach is also sold packaged in plastic bags and tubs. However, this type of spinach is often treated with nitrogen gas or exposed to radiation as bacteria grow more quickly under the plastic. Packaged spinach also contains fewer vitamins than truly fresh spinach.
Considerations: Raw and cooked spinach can be stored for up to about a week at room temperature. Spinach contains high levels of nitrates, which bacteria convert into harmful nitrites. These can cause problems for children, in particular, as they inhibit the transport of oxygen in our body and at a higher rate when body weight is lower. In addition, if certain amino acids are present when nitrites are heated, these nitrites can be converted into nitrosamine, which is known to be cancer-promoting. Since fish products contain many of the amino acids needed for this reaction, it is best to refrain from eating fish and spinach at the same time — even if the creation of nitrosamine is not comparable with the harmful effects of grilling foods.
Recommendations: In the original recipe, the author recommends serving the soup with some homemade vegan cream cheese. For a savory flavor, you might also try adding a dollop of cashew yogurt. You can find a recipe for this here: Cashew Yogurt is Vegan but Usually Not Raw (link to be added soon).
Visual presentation: Since the soup contains only green ingredients, it does have quite a prominent green color. You can enhance the visual presentation by adding something red, such as thin strips of red bell pepper.
Freezing spinach: Freezing spinach involves blanching, rinsing with cold water, and then freezing in suitable containers or freezer bags. Frozen spinach can be kept for up to 10 months.
Alternative for cilantro: If you don’t like cilantro, you can simply leave it out or replace it with flat-leaf parsley. After all, an aversion to cilantro is genetic. In one study, the researcher Nicholas Eriksson found that the combination of two specific genes is responsible for the fact that some people don’t like this herb and think that it tastes like soap. If you are preparing a meal for guests, it is best to either not include cilantro or ask in advance.