Cashew Note: Raw cashews take about 3-4 hours to soak, so I find it helpful to soak in batches and then freeze in portions until ready to use. To soak, place nuts in a bowl of water and cover for several hours. The nuts will become larger after soaking, as they swell from absorbing some of the water. Drain the soaking water, and rinse the nuts. Then store in the fridge for a couple of days until ready to use, or in the freezer for a few months.
Miso Note: Chickpea miso is something I discovered this past year. It has such a mild, mellow flavor and a very fermented, umami essence. If you cannot find it, use a very mild miso like a brown rice - and start with just 1 tbsp as it tastes stronger than chickpea miso.
Water Note: Using just 1/3 cup of water will give you a thicker spread. However, if you don’t have a high-speed blender, you may find it difficult to get a smooth puree. If so, use the full 1/2 cup of water. The mixture will thicken slightly with refrigeration.