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 Chayote Cashew Bisque 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled The Nut Gourmet by . View all columns in series
Feather light and almost ethereal in nature, this delightful bisque brings an unexpected surprise with the very first spoonful. The delicate sweetness of the chayote combined with apples and cashews presents an almost floral impression to the taste buds. It also lends an ideal balance to a savory meal. Because the cashews are finely ground into a powdery meal, they play an important role as a thickening agent.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

  • 2 chayote squashes (about 1 pound)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 sweet apple
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

    Dollop of Tofu Sour Cream
    1. Peel the chayote squashes with a vegetable peeler. Cut each one in half, remove the seed, and cut the flesh into coarse chunks. Place into a 6-quart saucepan and add the water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and steam for about 25 minutes, or until the squashes are fork tender.
    2. While the squash is cooking, core the apple but do not peel it. Cut the apple into chunks and put half of them into the blender. Set the rest aside.
    3. Grind the cashews into a fine meal in an electric chopper/grinder or coffee grinder and set aside.
    4. When the squash is tender, put half into the blender with the apples, including all of the liquid in the saucepan, and blend until smooth. With the machine running, add the remaining squash and reserved apple chunks and blend until completely smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Alternatively, puree the soup in the saucepan with an immersion blender.
    5. Add the soymilk and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When it reaches a boil, add the ground cashews and cook for 1 or 2 minutes longer, until slightly thickened.
    6. Add the optional maple syrup for extra sweetness. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of the Tofu Sour Cream and a sprinkle of paprika.
    Tofu Sour Cream
  • 1 (12.3-ounce) box extra firm silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Use immediately or chill for an hour or two before serving. Refrigerated, Tofu Sour Cream keeps for 1 week. Makes 1 1/2 cups

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     About The Author
    With a focus on healthy eating, compassion for animals, and environmental consciousness, her vegan journey led Zel Allen to partner with her husband, Reuben, to publish Vegetarians in Paradise. Their online publication......moreZel Allen
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