Creamy Asparagus and Walnut Soup for Love Your Heart

dairy-free, gluten-free, American Heart Month, heart-healthy, antioxidants

Welcome to the second week of Love Your Heart! To recap, we’re honoring the heart this February with a month long celebration of heart-healthy recipes.  Hopefully last week’s roundup gave you plenty of heart-health breakfast ideas.

As filling as my Strawberry Avocado Smoothie was, I’m getting hungry for lunch. This week, I’ve whipped up a simple and superbly satisfying soup. It’s an asparagus soup so smooth and creamy texture you might expect to see some heavy cream in the ingredients, but instead I’m using hearty beans and nuts to mimic to provide both nutrition and texture. It’s finished off with a squirt of lemon to brighten the flavor and remind us that Spring is just around the corner.

What makes this soup so heart-healthy?  Let’s count the ways.

Asparagus
Asparagus is rich in vitamin B, fiber, and anti-oxidants making it a likely weapon in reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Cannellini Beans
Cannellini beans are similar to kidney beans but white in color. A diet high in legumes provides the heart-healthy fiber we need to reduce the risk of heart disease. But cannellini and kidney beans provided the added benefit of significant amounts of folate and magnesium. Folate helps to reduce levels of homocysteine, which is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke, while magnesium improves blood flow by helping to relax the veins and arteries. (source)

Walnuts
Walnuts provide plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and are the #1 choice of nuts among dieticians for their lipid-lowering, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  (source)

Want more heart-healthy lunches? And how about giveaways? Please be sure to visit:

Lauren, for Fresh Salmon Caesar Salad Sandwiches,

Amy & Natalie, for a Turkey and Sprout Panini,

and Nicole, this week’s lovely hostess!

Nicole has cooked up some delicious looking Chipotle Black Bean and Shrimp Quesadillas with Edamame Guacamole, and she has some great prizes for you. Wouldn’t you like to win…

a copy of Hallie Klecker’s The Pure Kitchen?

This book is packed with flavorful recipes comprised of wholesome, heart-healthy ingredients. A perfect companion to your healthy lifestyle!

Or how about some adorable plates from Super Healthy Kids?

What better way to get the little ones thrilled about healthy eating?

Maybe you’ll end up with a gift from Tropical Traditions!

Lucky you, I love their stuff!

Let’s get back to this soup. It’s not my best work, photographically. But I guess that’s bound to happen when you try to shoot on a white background in unnatural light and you attempt to float an asparagus spear in hot soup. And I’ll be honest that I was a little nervous about the fact that I was all out of broth and had to resort to water. But let me tell you, walnuts and lemon and nutmeg do magical things when combined with asparagus, and the flavors in this soup truly shined. Whatever it lacked in appearance was more than made up for by how it tasted and it’s heart-healthy nutritional value. Two of three ain’t bad, right?

dairy-free, gluten-free, American Heart Month, heart-healthy, antioxidants, vegan

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Creamy Asparagus and Walnut Soup

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Don't be scared off by the word creamy; this soup is dairy-free and gets its luxurious mouth-feel from heart-healthy walnuts and white beans.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
2 cups water
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cooked white beans
2 teaspoons white miso
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Place walnuts in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a medium saucepan over low heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned. Add garlic, asparagus, salt and pepper, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 cups of water and increase heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 12 minutes, or until asparagus is very tender.

Drain the walnuts and transfer to a blender or food processor along with the white beans, miso, lemon juice, and water. Blend until smooth.

When the soup is done simmering, turn off heat. Using an immersion blender (or transferring the soup in batches to a blender or food processor) blend until smooth. Stir in pureed white bean mixture and nutmeg. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 204.4
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 495.3 mg
Potassium 587.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.2 g
Dietary Fiber 6.7 g
Sugars 1.1 g
Protein 8.5 g

Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com

This post is linked to Allergy Free Wednesdays and Wellness Weekends.

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27 Responses to “Creamy Asparagus and Walnut Soup for Love Your Heart”

  1. Pingback: Love Your Heart: Chipotle Black Bean and Shrimp Quesadilla with Edamame Guacamole + Giveaway! | Prevention RD

  2. 2

    Nicole, RD — February 8, 2012 @ 6:19 am Reply

    This soup looks divine! Gorgeous photos!

  3. 3

    Kate — February 8, 2012 @ 6:25 am Reply

    Joanne and I were just commenting on our soup addiction last night, so this is perfect timing.

  4. 4

    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living — February 8, 2012 @ 6:48 am Reply

    Despite the mild winter we’ve had so far, I can’t seem to get enough soup; this one looks delicious! I love how you used walnuts and beans to thicken the soup without cream.

  5. Pingback: Fresh Salmon Caesar Salad Sandwich « Healthy Food For Living

  6. Pingback: Heart Healthy Turkey Panini

  7. 5

    Jeanette — February 8, 2012 @ 7:10 am Reply

    Love how you used nuts mimic a creamy soup without any dairy!

  8. 6

    janet @ the taste space — February 8, 2012 @ 7:21 am Reply

    I am loving the walnut-miso-lemon theme in this dish. Looks great, Cara!

  9. 7

    Hallie — February 8, 2012 @ 10:20 am Reply

    Can’t wait to try this once I can get my hands on some asparagus this spring, Cara! :)

  10. 8

    Shannon — February 8, 2012 @ 10:58 am Reply

    MMmmm, i’ve got a white bean soup for lunch today that i’m very much looking forward to. Love the additions of asparagus and walnuts here :)

  11. 9

    Maggie — February 8, 2012 @ 11:33 am Reply

    Love that you pumped this soup up with some miso! Beautiful, as always Cara!

  12. 10

    Alissa @ Not Just Apples — February 8, 2012 @ 11:43 am Reply

    Asparagus and walnut sounds delicious!

  13. 11

    Heidi @ Food Doodles — February 8, 2012 @ 1:25 pm Reply

    Yum! Asparagus and walnut is not a combo I would have thought of but it sounds good! And I love smooth soups like this :D

  14. 12

    Alta — February 8, 2012 @ 1:35 pm Reply

    Oh my, I love the combo of flavors on this one. Great job, Cara!

  15. 13

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — February 8, 2012 @ 1:54 pm Reply

    I’ve roasted asparagus and added nuts to the finished dish so I can ‘almost’ taste this. Love when something good for you is just so dang good too!

  16. 14

    Joanne — February 8, 2012 @ 9:22 pm Reply

    Photographing soup is like…the hardest thing of all time, but you did a ROCK STAR job! Seriously, I love how you prettied it up!

    And I love all of these ingredients. My heart feels healthier just looking at it!

  17. 15

    Dawn — February 9, 2012 @ 6:51 am Reply

    Mmm….anything with walnuts. Love the idea of using it in soup!

  18. 16

    Cathy @ What Would Cathy Eat? — February 9, 2012 @ 8:09 am Reply

    I can’t wait to try walnuts and miso and beans in a soup like this. So interesting. I just posted a lunch recipe for Love Your Heart, too.

  19. 17

    Sues — February 9, 2012 @ 9:55 am Reply

    What a great idea! I’d love to get more asparagus into my diet, but get bored just roasting or sauteing it. It looks like a deliciously creamy soup, while still being nice and healthy!

  20. 18

    Hannah — February 9, 2012 @ 8:02 pm Reply

    Sounds both satisfying and light- Perfect! I can easily see myself eating both servings in one day, if not in the same sitting. ;)

  21. 19

    Genevieve — February 9, 2012 @ 8:06 pm Reply

    When it comes to asparagus, I usually don’t think beyond eating it whole. I love the idea of this soup though – all those flavors sound like they would go together so well, and the white beans and nuts would help make it a bit more hearty. I will definitely keep this in mind for spring when fresh asparagus is available!

  22. 20

    Nancy @Real Food Allergy Free — February 10, 2012 @ 4:07 pm Reply

    Mmm. This looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing this at allergy free wednesday! Hope to see you again next week.

  23. 21

    The Healthy Apple — February 13, 2012 @ 9:22 pm Reply

    This soup looks amazing, Cara. Love it!!!

  24. 22

    Kevin (Closet Cooking) — February 18, 2012 @ 3:10 pm Reply

    That is a nice looking asparagus soup! I am looking forward to spring and the fresh asparagus!

  25. 23

    Richa@HobbyandMore — February 20, 2012 @ 9:37 pm Reply

    That is one gorgeous and amazing soup.. love the walnuts and the spices!

  26. 24

    Wendy — April 2, 2012 @ 7:49 pm Reply

    Can’t wait to make this with *fresh* asparagus, but made this tonight for Meatless Monday dinner and it was fab!

  27. Pingback: Candida diet, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, low glycemic Blueberry Ice Cream recipe | Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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