A year ago this August, I attended Living Light Culinary Institute in California. I had the best time of my life, having won the "Hot Raw Chef" Scholarship in 2015. I had an absolutely wonderful time, meeting new friends, cooking (or un-cooking) up a storm, leaning new tricks of the trade, renewing my knife skills, and coming up with many healthy recipes.
This South African soup was the result of an assignment we had been given. I had great fun working with my partner Nadine, who had a discerning palate, a kind heart, and only supportive words to share.... I miss those times! I remember blending, tasting, adding something else in, blending, tasting...for almost 45 minutes! I'd close my eyes to taste the exact texture and flavors, and get it just right. Consequently, it's one of the LONGEST list of ingredients I've ever worked with, but I promise you that it's the perfect tribute to its cooked counterpart. And even healthier for you!
Warming, soothing, with a hint of cinnamon and spice. Makes 4 cups, about 4 one-cup servings or 8 half-cup appetizers.
2 zucchinis, peeled & chopped
4 red peppers, seeded, filed and chopped
1 cup water
1 cup cashews, soaked
6 dates, pitted & chopped
3 garlic cloves, microplaned
3 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons Tamarind Paste
1 two-inch knob of ginger, microplaned
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1 teaspoon dehydrated tomato powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons cashews, minced
2 tablespoons scallions, minced
2 tablespoons red pepper, minced
2 tablespoons cucumber, minced
2 tablespoons yellow pepper, minced
In a blender: blend zucchini, red pepper, water, cashews, dates, garlic, salt, tamarind and remaining spices until smooth. Continue to blend until the canister of the blender starts to feel warm and the soup begins to heat a little. Taste for seasonings; garnish each serving with the minced cilantro, cashews, and a concase of pepper,s cucumber and scallions. Enjoy!