July 23, 2015 36

Chilled Cream of Basil Soup with Corn Cucumber Salad

Vegan, cream of basil soup.
Chilled Cream of Basil Soup with Corn + Cucumber Salad | Cream of basil soup made naturally vegan with raw cashews and herbs. Topped with a fresh, crunchy summer salad of corn and cucumber. Creamy, chilled, summer soup.

I really don’t mind cooking when it’s hot outside. I actually love to cook in the summertime, and I know this makes me a crazy person. My love for cooking in July started long before I had central air conditioning here in St. Louis. When I lived in Philly, I’d crank my oven so high I swear my tiny apartment was about to burst into flames.There’s something about the produce in the heat of the summer that inspires me on a primal level. The colors. The textures. The plentiful bounty at the market, in my CSA box and {now} in my garden. I think we probably all feel the same way, like we can never get enough of the summer veg.

We become vegetable hoarders. We covet them. And we literally fight people {or squirrels} for them until they run out. Often I’m drawn to roasting them. Eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini. I pop tray after tray of them into the oven. Keeping it simple, all with just a little sea salt and a splash of olive oil and whole garlic cloves right in their skins. The flavors deepen, the notes soften, and everything tastes the perfect amount of sweet. I don’t know why. It doesn’t matter the season, or temperature outside. Roasted food always tastes the best to me.

And even though eating trays of roasted summery veg isn’t too heavy, there are still some summer days when all I want to eat is raw, lighter foods. Like smoothie bowls for breakfast, salads for lunch and raw soups, like this one for dinner. This cream of basil soup is totally raw and vegan and naturally gluten-free and requires practically no work at all to throw together. It has a smooth finish and it’s herby in spirit. But please don’t miss the corn and cucumber salad, it totally makes the dish and rounds out all the flavors with a little acid. Also, this soup is perfect thing to make with the abundance of basil I have right now. I seriously have, so, much, basil.

If you’re like me and enjoy cooking during the summer, but also don’t want to turn your oven on, maybe you should look into getting one of these Wolf convection ovens. I won this beast at the Saveur Blog Awards, and seriously, it is so badass. All the bells and whistles you guys. Legit the most serious piece of cooking equipment I own. And probably that I’ll ever own, and I love it.

What do you favor in the summer, raw or roasted?

Here are few of my popular summer recipes that favor both…

Banana Mango Green Smoothie Bowls with Hemp Seeds + Sprouts

Summer’s Bounty Chopped Kale Salad with Nectarines + Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

Basil Roasted Eggplant with Heirlooms + a Balsamic Drizzle

Savory Roasted Cherries

Cabbage Wedges with Corn + an Herby Spicy Zesty Vinaigrette

Blackberry + Mango Lemon Poppy Seed Fruit Salad with Earl Grey Whipped Coconut Cream

Blackberry SAGE Jam Cocktails

Chilled Cream of Basil Soup with Corn + Cucumber Salad | Cream of basil soup made naturally vegan with raw cashews and herbs. Topped with a fresh, crunchy summer salad of corn and cucumber. Creamy, chilled, summer soup.

Chilled Cream of Basil Soup with Corn + Cucumber Salad | Cream of basil soup made naturally vegan with raw cashews and herbs. Topped with a fresh, crunchy summer salad of corn and cucumber. Creamy, chilled, summer soup.

Chilled Cream of Basil Soup with Corn + Cucumber Salad | Cream of basil soup made naturally vegan with raw cashews and herbs. Topped with a fresh, crunchy summer salad of corn and cucumber. Creamy, chilled, summer soup.

Chilled Cream of Basil Soup with Corn + Cucumber Salad | Cream of basil soup made naturally vegan with raw cashews and herbs. Topped with a fresh, crunchy summer salad of corn and cucumber. Creamy, chilled, summer soup.

Chilled Cream of Basil Soup with Corn + Cucumber Salad | Cream of basil soup made naturally vegan with raw cashews and herbs. Topped with a fresh, crunchy summer salad of corn and cucumber. Creamy, chilled, summer soup.

Chilled Cream of Basil Soup

Total Time
Serves 4 cups

This soup is rich, creamy and filling. Be sure to refrigerate it completely as this allows for the proper consistency to set.


  • 2 cups of raw cashews, soaked {see notes}
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 1/2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


Rinse the soaked cashews, and discard soaking liquids.

In a blender pulse together, on low the cashews and water. Add in the basil, spinach, garlic, salt and pepper and blend on low until totally smooth.

Transfer soup to a airtight container and refrigerator for at least one hour or until chilled all the way through.

Serve with a few spoonfuls of corn and cucumber salad {see below} and a drizzle of olive oil + pinch of sea salt and pepper.

Recipe Notes

For best results and easier digestion - soak your raw cashews anywhere from an hour to fours hours before blending.

Corn Cucumber Salad

Total Time

this salad is the perfect accompaniment to the soup, and shouldn't be left out. Please note raw corn is hard for some to digest, feel free to blanch it briefly if desired. Cherry tomatoes, and sweet bell peppers would be an excellent addition to the salad ingredients, get creative, all the summer flavors work here. The longer it sits, the tastier it gets, so you can make it in advance. This will make more salad than you need, so you'll have a small bowl leftover to eat as is.


  • 3 ears of sweet corn {2 cups off the cob}
  • 1 small-medium cucumber, peeled if desired {1 1/2 cups diced
  • large handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • juice from 1/2 lemon {about 1 tablespoon}
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


Remove the corn from the cob. Dice the cucumber in small pieces.

Combine the corn kernels, diced cucumber, chopped parsley, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper in a bowl and toss together to coat evenly. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

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36 Responses to "Chilled Cream of Basil Soup with Corn Cucumber Salad"

  1. Reply

    Millie | Add A Little

    July 23, 2015 at 6:11 PM

    This looks incredible! I love the fresh, summery flavours and the beauty of the simplicity of the dish!

  2. Reply

    Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    July 23, 2015 at 9:15 PM

    OMG, this soup is all sorts of hearts. I just love that pale green color!

  3. Reply


    July 23, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    How long would this raw soup keep do you think?

    • Reply


      July 24, 2015 at 5:55 PM

      Hi Maria – in an airtight container, refrigerated, about 2-3 days.

  4. Reply


    July 24, 2015 at 8:55 PM

    Vegetable hoarders, I love that! Sherrie, I can’t tell you how much I love your site and your photography, it’s perfect. That soup looks so beautiful! That pale green and smooth texture is so lovely.

    • Reply


      July 28, 2015 at 10:34 AM

      This comment totally made my day. All my love girl!

  5. Reply


    July 26, 2015 at 9:32 PM

    This is so gorgeous, Sherrie! The photos are stunning, and it sounds fabulous.

  6. Reply

    Sarah | Well and Full

    July 28, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    Haha, the summer turns me into a vegetable hoarder as well! Just the other day I was at the farmers’ market and I saw some perfectly ripe plums. So naturally, I got all of them! There is something so appealing about fresh produce that has just come from the local land. I love it! And what a beautiful way to showcase these summer flavors here. I love how simple and natural this gazpacho is!

  7. Reply

    Christina J Bollinger

    July 28, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    Sherrie, I can’t get the ‘print me’ links to work in either Safari or Chrome.

    • Reply


      July 31, 2015 at 2:36 PM

      Hi Christina – there was a glitch. It should work now.

  8. Reply


    July 28, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    This soup looks amazing and perfect for summer. I love that you just toss everything into your blender and chill.

    • Reply


      July 31, 2015 at 2:38 PM

      YES – it’s super easy-peasy.

  9. Reply


    July 28, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Girl, the photography on this post is my absolute favorite.

  10. Reply

    Barbara Uchmanowicz

    July 28, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    Hi I stumbled upon this recipe looking for some dish with basil (which I had a whole buch of). Just made the soup and corn salad to go with it. It tastes wonderful! And the salad gives the right amount of crunch. Even my meat loving husband says, it’s really good! Thank you!

  11. Reply

    kristie {birch and wild}

    July 29, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    What an amazing idea. I have never had a soup like this, but I can’t wait to try it! Beautiful photos here. So stunning.

  12. Reply


    July 30, 2015 at 6:18 AM

    Hi! This soup looks so delicious but unfortunately, I’m allergic to cashews. Could I possibly replace the cashews with another nut?

    • Reply


      July 31, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      Hi Luna – to keep the soup raw you could try pine nuts or macadamia nuts. I haven’t tried it with either, but both would create a creamy texture. Otherwise, you could try white beans. I hope this helps.

  13. Reply


    July 30, 2015 at 8:52 AM

    My boyfriend’s parents (in STL, actually!) have a Wolf stove and it is seriously THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER COOKED ON. I just can’t go back to my normal stove now. I love making pies during the summer (who could resist, with all the amazing fruit?) but I have to say I prefer cooling foods like smoothies, juices, big chopped salads, and chilled soups like this one. The produce this time of year is amazing so it isn’t difficult to eat partially or mostly raw. It’s been so hot and humid- if someone handed me a bowl of hot soup I think I would run in the other direction, haha!

  14. Reply

    Amanda Paa

    July 30, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    Convection ovens save me in the summer too. I can only imagine how awesome the Wolf one is. I have plans to makes this soon. Cashews are so magical aren’t they? And I just successfully reintroduced corn this week, which I would have cried to have left out. Yay! xo

  15. Reply

    Grace @ Earthy Feast

    August 6, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    Such beautiful bowls of soup filled to the brim with the loveliest shade of light green! I’m in love and so inspired with all this and also really jealous of your convection oven.

  16. Reply


    August 15, 2015 at 5:20 AM

    I love to cook in the summer too, but during the night time. I could stay until 3am to make some complicated dish, or to whip up some huge layered cake. And I could easily stay one of these nights up and make this basil soup – it just started to blossom in my garden.

  17. Reply


    September 7, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    This is beautiful. I made it and the smell is incredible. How did you get this so extremely smooth, though? I use a food processor, which is mich more powerful than the old blender I used to use, but I definitely don’t get the silky texture pictured here. I soaked raw cashews for probably 8 hours. My texture is more like soft sand in solution. Maybe less water next time?

    • Reply


      September 7, 2015 at 9:25 PM

      Hi Mary – ugh sorry to hear the texture for you wasn’t so great. I think your issue was using a food processor, and not a blender. A blender’s main function is to blend food smooth, while a food processor’s function is to chop, shred, grate, etc. So as old as your blender is, it was probably a better option. I hope you try to make it again!

  18. Reply

    Yulia Foster

    July 6, 2016 at 12:56 PM

    Hi this looks delicious and I have a ton of basil. I don’t have cashews so wondering how I would make this non-vegan/non raw? Thank you.

    • Reply


      July 6, 2016 at 1:06 PM

      Hi Yulia – using white beans would be a great solution for the cashews!

  19. Reply


    July 9, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    This looks wonderful and prompted a morning trip to my local produce market. Cashews are soaking now. Soup in one hour! Thank you!

  20. Reply


    April 23, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    This looks like a good summery soup. I like things I don’t have to cook over the stove in the summer lol. Using nuts and water to provide a creamy base is a very inventive use of cashews and adds extra protein to make the soup more filling. And not only does the spinach add color, the raw spinach will add other nutrients as well, such as an iron boost. Thank you!

  21. Reply


    April 28, 2018 at 2:56 PM

    How long do you typically blend to get it “perfectly smooth”?

    • Reply


      April 30, 2018 at 10:41 PM

      Hi Brett – it really depends on the blender you are using. But it could take up to a few minutes.

  22. Reply

    Carol H.

    July 4, 2018 at 2:24 PM

    I have made this soup several times over the past few months. It’s absolutely delicious. I must admit to making a few modifications due to lack of ingredients on hand, as well as to a whim or two. I have used small white beans instead of cashews. And my family is not vegan so I’ve added some buttermilk to enhance its creaminess. Finally, I had a ripe avocado and blended it in as well. Loved it all. Such a pretty soup that’s truly tasty and fresh. Now, I know what I will do with excess basil this summer. Yum and thanks!

    • Reply


      July 4, 2018 at 2:53 PM

      Hi Carol – you are so welcome! It’s a favorite of mine as well. I love it so much.

  23. Reply


    August 1, 2018 at 9:00 AM

    I don’t eat vegan or dairy free- so what do I use in place of the cashews. I saw white beans. Anything else. I do eat dairy. Thank you.

    • Reply


      August 6, 2018 at 4:53 PM

      Hi Muriel – the cashews add a lovely texture and creamy base. I would suggest trying the cashews for something new. Or the white beans if you’d rather.

  24. Reply


    August 21, 2018 at 11:46 AM

    I made this soup last night and it was delicious! I added some tamari and nutritional yeast for additional flavor. Just a note – the spinach is not included in the directions. I’m sure most people figure it out, but just wanted to mention that!

    • Reply


      August 21, 2018 at 12:11 PM

      Hi Nicole – I’m so glad you loved this. And thank you for the note about the spinach! Whoops – sorry about that. I’ve made the necessary changes to recipe.

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With Food + Love © 2018 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.