Chickpea & Cashew Cream Soup

This soup, adapted from Post Punk Kitchen, revealed the wonders of cashew cream. I had no idea that this little nut could make soups and stews creamy and delicious. It's a secret weapon ingredient.  
3/4 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2 hours or overnight
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 cup rice 
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, diced chunky
5 cups vegetable broth
1 24 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
4 cups chopped kale
Drain the cashews and place them in a blender with one cup of fresh water. Blend until completely smooth, scraping the sides occasionally. 
Preheat a pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute in olive oil with a pinch of salt until translucent. Add garlic, salt and pepper and saute a minute more.
Add rice, celery and carrots to the onion and then pour in the broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, add the chickpeas, and let cook for about 15 more minutes, until rice is cooked and carrots are tender.
Add the cashew cream and kale, and simmer until kale is wilted, 3 to 5 more minutes. You may need to add water to thin the soup if it seems too thick. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

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