As the weather turns rather frightful the warm oven is quite delightful. So let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. That my vegan and vegetarian friends is how you butcher a very find Christmas song 😉
But turning to the task at hand which is warm winter soups for vegans. Veg*ns can have their potato soup and eat it, but without the bacon that so often gets tossed into everything nowadays. Why is that. What’s up with the blizzard of bacon found in just about everything.
Oh well, we can be friends of the pigs and not their murderers. Especially with this very creamy, very tasty vegan potato soup recipe that is just perfect for the cold fall and winter nights.
The potato is much maligned but as I’ve said elsewhere, it is a great and comforting food for anyone. And as many of you might know, folks can live on potatoes very easily for months at a time. One guy went on an all potato diet and lost 21 pounds eating nothing but around 20 potatoes a day.
This recipe goes very well with a nice chunky slice of vegan whole wheat bread we made the other day.
I love potatoes and they’re probably in my meals at least once a week or so. Both sweet and white potatoes they’re all good.
Now for this hearty, thick and creamy vegetarian potato soup recipe you’ll be using something that perhaps many of you have not used before which is cashew cream. I have a quick cashew cream recipe at the bottom of this post that you can use to make the cashew cream that you’ll need. Alternatively you can use plain AND unsweetened nut milk of your choice, but the results will not be quite as creamy.
For a really creamy and hearty vegan potato soup you should really make the cashew cream. It’s easy and delicious.
Marty’s Hearty Vegan Poato Soup – Careful It Leeks 😉
Who’s Marty? A guy I made up who’s name rhymes with “hearty”. Okay, here’s what you need:
0.25 cup vegan margarine
2 leeks thinly sliced
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 litre (1 quart) vegetable stock (I use vegetable bouillon cubes – 2 cubes should suffice)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
4 cups of yellow potatoes peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces
2 cups heavy cashew cream (recipe below)
A couple of notes, if you prefer to use fresh garlic and onions please feel free. When using fresh garlic use about 3 times as much. When using fresh onions use about a half an onion.
In a large pot cook the leeks (and fresh onions and fresh garlic if using fresh) with the margarine over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to season and to taste.
If using bouillon cubes set them aside for later. Take the 1 litre (1 quart) of water you’ll use for the stock and stir in the cornstarch until dissolved. Pour this mixture into the pot and keep stirring consistently.
Add in the 2 bouillon cubes and garlic/onion powder if using as dry powder. Add in the peeled and cubed potatoes. Bring to a low boil.
Add in the cashew cream and bring temperature down to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes or so. You can now eat it. It does well to be blended in which case you’ll have to blend in portions. But it is still very yummy as a chunky vegan potato and leek soup.
You can drizzle with dry vegan bacon bits for a smoky and crunchy added texture too if you like.
No Moo Cash-oo Cream
The key to this recipe and making the best vegan cashew cream is to have 2 things. The freshest, WHOLE, RAW cashews you can find and the best blender that money can buy. The VitaMix is recommended but it is expensive.
If you have another blender then blend it for as long as you can to get it as smooth as you can. You can also pour the cashew cream through a fine sieve in order to get rid of some of the bigger cashew grits.
2 cups raw cashews
Raw cashews are important because roasted cashews are not sweet and will impart a nutty flavour to any dish you use them in which we don’t want. Whole raw cashews are better because broken cashew pieces will have a tendency to dry out.
Soak the cashews in water overnight. Next day change water and rinse them well. Leave them submerged in water until you’re ready to use them.
Drain cashews from the water and rinse them again one last time. Place drained cashews in your blender. For our purposes – making a “heavy” cream – pour enough water into the blender to just cover them.
If using a recipe that calls for a cream like half and half or any other type of cream other than heavy cream, then pour enough water to cover the cashews and so the water line is about an inch above the cashews.
Blend until smooth and creamy and then use as is. This vegetarian cashew cream will last in the fridge for a couple or 3 days, so it is best to make as needed.
This recipe will make about 2 to 2.5 cups of heavy cashew cream or if making a lighter cashew cream, then that version will make around 3.25 to 3.5 cups.
* If using regular plain soy milk in place of cashew cream you save about 150 calories and 13 grams of fat per serving. For those of you trying to eat light.