Monday, June 11, 2012

Potato Cheese Soup

Who doesn't love Potato Cheese Soup?  Most people are probably thinking us poor vegan folk have to live without but who are we kidding!  Ours is better than theirs!!  We can eat our hearts out and still not get fat and bloated with huge amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol from the dairy.  Plus, everyone can eat my Vegan Potato Cheese Soup even if they are lactose intolerant.  Making soup is one of my favorites because you really don't need a recipe.  Just start with the holy trilogy of soup: onion, celery, and carrot.  You can mix it up and use garlic and ginger for an Asian themed soup. Really, just add your holy trilogy, add liquid (water or veggie broth) and add veggies.  If it is bland, add some spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, or dried herbs.  Soup making is so fun, homey, down to earth and it is so incredibly user friendly.
When I first bought a blender and started to puree my soups, I realized that any creamed soup is as simple as a minute or two in the blender.  Really, the sky is the limit for soups and this one turned out quite well!  When using root veggies like potato, onion, and carrot it is really important to buy organic.  Foods that grow below the dirt are uber susceptible to contamination from toxic pesticides.  Veer on the safe and buy organic when it comes to roots.  Better yet, grow your own. You can even grow potatoes and onions in a bag in your living room, it really is that easy! If you are growing your own, don't forget to save the cut off eyes (the green growths) on the potatoes for your garden!

Yields About 4 servings
4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
2 1/2 cups milk (Almond or Soy are good choices.  Don't use coconut, it will taste funny.  Rice milk will be too thin).
2 tbsp vegan butter, melted (optional)
3 tbsp wheat flour (for gluten free, try quinoa flour or chickpea flour)
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Cheddar Daiya Cheese
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

1. In a large saucepan or stock pan, add a small amount of oil and lightly saute the carrots, celery, and onion.  Add the potatoes, veggie broth, and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender enough to easily stab with a fork.  This will take about 15 to 20 minutes. 
2.  With a potato masher, mash the ingredients so it is creamy, mashy, and a little chunky.  This is a hearty soup, after all.
3.  Stir in milk.
4.  In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, flour, parsley, and pepper.  Then stir into the soup.  Raise to medium heat and cover until soup thickens.
5.  Stir in cheese until almost melted.  Remove from heat.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.  Taste test and add any needed salt or pepper.   Garnish with fresh herbs such as chives, cilantro, basil, or parsley.  Enjoy!

* If you want a white potato soup, use a white vegan cheese such as Daiya Mozarella Shreds.  

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