St. Patrick's Day is almost here! Ireland and potatoes. The two are forever intertwined in our minds, so we thought we'd create a delicious vegan Baked Potato Soup in honor of the leprechaun-filled day. This soup, with the humble yet satisfying potato as its base, comes at just the right time of the year when Mother Nature is getting ready to throw off her winter coat, but days can still be grey and chilly. Read on for how you can warm up with this creamy one-pot meal, perfect for topping with whatever you or your little ones please. Tempeh bacon? Daiya cheddar cheese? Yes, please!
1. Gather your ingredients and bake the potatoes.
- 3 large white organic potatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Toppings such as vegan sour cream, vegan cheddar cheese and scallions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a fork or knife, carefully prick holes all over three large unpeeled white potatoes, such as russett. Place on the oven shelves directly (no need for a cookie sheet), and let cook for 45 minutes to an hour. You can check them and turn them at 15 minute intervals. Helpful hint: the potato’s skin will crack or “break” a bit as they come closer to being done. When you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, take out and let cool until you can handle them with bare hands.
2. Prepare your onions and garlic.
Meanwhile, dice a medium-sized onion. It should yield about 1 1/2 cups onion. Mince two cloves of garlic. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat then add the diced onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until they start to brown.
3. Cube the potatoes.
Peel the potatoes (you should be able to just pull off strips of skin with your hands at this point) and cut them into medium-sized cubes (slightly larger than bite sized). Don’t worry if some of the potato is too soft to cut into distinct cubes; the potatoes break down more while cooking in the soup and add to the creamy texture.
4. Add ingredients and let the soup cook.
Add the potatoes, 1 tsp of sea salt, pepper to taste and three cups of vegetable broth (or the equivalent in boullion dissolved into three cups of water) to the soup pot. Lower the temperature to medium-low. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
5. Mash up some of the potatoes for a creamier soup.
After 15-20 minutes, the soup will be done. To make the soup less chunky and more creamy (my family’s preference), use a potato masher to break up some of the potatoes and stir them into the soup. You can also accomplish this by mashing some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Check seasonings, then scoop into bowls.
6. Add toppings.
Top with vegan sour cream, vegan cheddar cheese, and scallions. Other additions such as tempeh bacon or some sauteed kale or collards would also be delicious. Enjoy! Makes 4 servings.