1 ¾ cups blanched almonds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups carrot juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons sea salt


1. Blend all ingredients in a blender to creamy smooth.

Recipe courtesy of Robert Reid, The Organic Café, 2011.

By its name, you know that this soup is perfect for this time of year. Autumn is the time to incorporate some of the cold weather vegetables such as winter squash and carrots into this hearty, tasty and satisfying soup. It is also a good introduction into vegan cooking and eating. If you are looking for a good recipe to be introduced to vegetarian, raw food, or vegan cooking this soup is a perfect choice. Although made without any cooking or use of meat or dairy by-products, it tastes as delicious as any squash based soup you have ever had.

As Rob Reid of the Organic Garden Café tells us in this video, although he prepares it as a “vegan” recipe, you can alter and modify it yourself by heating it and even adding a few flavoring agents such as stock. If you try it as is, however, he is confident that you will not miss anything.

For example, instead of using dairy products, the soup derives its creaminess from using raw almonds as a flavoring agent. The almonds are liquefied into the soup using a blender. The carrots and lemons are prepared using a juicer that liquefies the fruit and vegetable while throwing away the pulp. If you do not have a juicer, as a substitute you can purchase lemon juice and even ready-made carrot juice in most supermarkets.

According to a 2011 report by the Associated Press, the vegan diet was moving from marginal to mainstream in the United States. Many celebrities and famous Americans are incorporating vegan dishes into their diets or adopting the diet completely. Former President Clinton adopted the diet after cardiac surgery in 2010 after his daughter already was eating that way.

What is a vegan dish? It is different from being a vegetarian. Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry. Vegans, in addition to being vegetarian, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products. People choose to be vegan for health, environmental, and/or ethical reasons.

The key to a nutritionally sound vegan diet is variety. A healthy and varied vegan diet includes fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Any plant-based dish may be vegan. Common vegan dishes prepared without animal ingredients include ratatouille, falafel, hummus, veggie burrito, rice and beans, veggie stir-fry, and pasta primavera.

Today we're going to make a harvest soup. It's a seasonal soup that can be made with various vegetables. We make it vegan, and find that by using an almond cream, we get a wonderful flavor and lots of health benefits that are associated with almonds.

Get a lemon. And we're going to cut off just the top and the bottom. And we're going to generate at least two tablespoons of lemon juice from this. At home, if you don't have a juicer, you can use lemon juice from lemon concentrate. That'll work.

It's a powerful juicer. When the lemon hits it, it doesn't even take much pressure at all. And this is on a very low speed.

All right. So the second thing we got to do is get the carrot juiced. Carrots generate a lot of juice very easily. That's one of the wonderful things about working with carrots.

While this is the base for our recipe, what we're doing, our harvest soup, this makes a wonderful juice, as well. Just a simple carrot-lemon juice. If you did not have carrots, you could go to the store and you can pick up some carrot juice, or we could substitute two cups of tomatoes for the recipe.

So here we go. We're going to juice these right through. And as we're sending it through, this juicer is separating the pulp, which is going into this basket over here. And of course, the juice is going into our container over here.

So I'm going to add two cups of the carrot juice with the lemon. And our next extra ingredient is two cups of water. This is going to fill the blender up pretty high, when we're done with all of our ingredients.

We're using blanched almonds, so the skins have already been removed. They're a great source of protein in the diet for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Add that ingredient in here.

Right here, we have already measured out one tablespoon of olive oil. Get that in there. One and a half teaspoons of cumin seed. One and a half teaspoons of nutritional yeast. Two teaspoons of salt.

And our final ingredient, fresh ginger. This fresh ginger is local, from Essex County. And we're going to do a tablespoon. And we're just going to use a rocking motion here with the knife to just cut it a minimal amount. Just enough to be able to get an approximate, fairly accurate measurement, stuffing into our tablespoon here.

And this is a forgiving recipe. You could use a little less ginger. You could use a little bit more. In fact, if you're somebody that loves ginger, you might even double the amount of ginger in it. But we have a tablespoon of ginger in here for today.

We're going to rev it up on low. And the reason we start on low before we go to high is we want to make sure that the ingredients get pulled down into the blade. And the lower speeds in the blender help draw the ingredients down into the blade.

Now I'm running it on low. Drawing the ingredients down into the blade. Now I'm going up to high. At home, this machine would be running for a good two minutes, because we really want to make this soup nice and creamy. That's going to be one of the qualities of the soup that'll make it more pleasing, attractive to the mouth.

Now we can check it and just kind of look at the consistency. And that does look pretty smooth, right there. All right, so now that we have our finished product, there's one last thing we're going to do before we take it out of the blender. And that's, we're going to taste-test it.

Because you might want to adjust the spicing on it or the thickness of it. If it were too thin, you could add a little bit almonds, for instance, and that would help thicken it up. And of course, if it were too thick, you could add more water or more carrot juice. But as we spoke earlier, you might like a little more ginger.

It's great. This is a raw vegan soup. And you can enjoy it just the way it is, right into the bowl.

But you could also heat it up. And the way I recommend heating it up is put it into a pan, put it on low to medium heat. And just stir it up a little bit until it's the temperature that you enjoy it at.

Look at that color. Beautiful. And you can garnish it with fresh chives, scallions, or maybe even a little dash of cinnamon, since this soup is reminiscent of a creamy butternut squash soup. And it will taste wonderful with cinnamon or even a little bit more cumin. Whatever you like.

Harvest Soup
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