If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably read all about how I don’t like soups – right before I share a soup recipe. And I’ve done this many times.
What I’ve come to realize is that I don’t really like brothy soups. I just don’t like vegetables floating around in savory water. But I dol like rich and creamy soups and heart, filling stews. So, I promise to never talk about my aversion to soup again.
This Vegan Baked Potato Soup falls firmly in the rich and creamy category, and I love it. Jerry Seinfeld once argued with his friend Kenny Bania about whether or not soup is a meal. This soup is loaded with tempeh bacon, scallions, chives, and a little vegan cheddar, so it does make a great meal. Bania would probably agree.
This is a veganized version of an omnivore recipe I came across online. I’m not even sure where I found it now. I tried to go back to it but couldn’t remember where I saw it, so I just threw things together from memory.
Most of the baked potato soups I’ve come across in the past are made with lots of butter, cream, and milk and are then topped with bacon, cheese, and sour cream. That’s as far away from being vegan as possible. But the truth is that potatoes blend up to be pretty creamy once they’ve been cooked. Here, I’ve used cashews to add to the creaminess and little bit of nutritional yeast to give it a slightly cheesy flavor.
I’ve opted to leave the peels on my potatoes. It’s easier, and the peels are full of nutrients that the insides don’t have. You can peel yours, if you prefer. If you leave the peels on, like I did, make sure you give them a good scrub before dicing them.
I have an immersion blender, and I pretty much only use it to make creamy soups like this one. If you have an immersion blender, make sure you remove your pot from the heat before you use it, to prevent burns. If don’t have an immersion blender, a regular blender will work just as well. Just let the soup cool slightly before adding it to the blender to prevent heat build-up. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to blend the soup in batches.
The “loaded” toppings of traditional baked potato soup are really easy to veganize. I’ve skipped the sour cream, but if you’d like a dollop or two of the non-dairy variety. Here, I added a few shreds of Daiya cheddar. Use whatever kind of vegan cheese you prefer, or just skip in all together. I like to make my own tempeh bacon, but you can use store-bought, if you prefer. Sliced scallions and chives round-out the toppings and a bit of color to an otherwise bland-looking (but delicious!) soup.
- First, you sauté the onion and garlic in a large pot.
- Then, you add the stock, potatoes, and cashews and let everything simmer until the potatoes are soft.
- Next, you add the nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper to the pot and blend until it’s smooth and creamy.
- Finally, you ladle the soup into bowls and load it up with toppings!
This soup is the ultimate comfort food for cold, snowy winter days. Put on your fuzzy socks, fire up Nextflix, and cozy up to a bowl.
Vegan Baked Potato Soup
- 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 medium-sized baking potatoes (I use russet potatoes), diced
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled tempeh bacon
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- ¼ cup shredded non-dairy cheddar cheese, optional
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are fragrant and begin to brown.
Add the potatoes, cashews and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until they’re fork tender.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.
If you have an immersion blender, you can use it to blend the soup right in the pot. Blend until smooth and creamy.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, allow the soup to cool slightly and then pour it into a regular blender and blend until smooth and creamy. It may need to be done in batches, if your blender is on the smaller side. Pour the soup back into the pot.
Place the pot back on the stove to simmer for 5 more minutes or so, until heated throughout. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. If the soup seems too thick, you can add a little more stock or some water to reach the desired consistency.
Divide the soup among four bowls and then top with the tempeh bacon, scallions, chives, and non-dairy cheese, if using.