Friday, October 14, 2011

Vegan Mofo, Day 14: Crouton, Crouton, Crunchy Friend in a Liquid Broth

Lately I've been craving baked potato soup for some reason. This is strange: I've had baked potato soup, sure, but it's usually a healthier kind of thing, usually with good dose of kale or spinach. Delicious, but not what I've been looking for. I mean like a stuffed baked potato skin in soup form, cheesy and bacony and oniony and good--only without the cheese and bacon. (I should note that I never was a fan of cheese and got over bacon years and years ago, so I really don't know where this was coming from.)

Anyway, I went a-googling and came across this recipe, which is a vegetarianized version of an omni recipe. I had some Daiya on hand for pizza-making (later in the week, if I ever get over this cold), so I figured it was fitting to start and go from there, but I made a few changes along the way: no cauliflower, less cheesiness, and above all, if I'm making a baked potato soup, the potatoes are going to be baked. Here's what I came up with.

Baked Potato Soup, Vegan Style
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 large potatoes, baked, cooled and chopped into ~3/4" chunks
1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli (stalks only is fine)
3 cups vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup almond milk
6 oz tempeh bacon (I used half of the Vegan Brunch recipe, but whatever your not-bacon preference is is fine)
3 scallion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Daiya vegan cheese (I used mozzarella cause I had it, but cheddar probably makes more sense)

Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat, then saute the onions in it for about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about two minutes more. Add the potatoes and stir them all around before adding the broth, mashing some of the potatoes up with the spoon as you go. Add the broccoli and cover.
Meanwhile you're going to make a roux. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the flour and stir and cook for about two minutes, until it looks gold-ish and smells toasty and delicious. Add the roux, almond milk, broccoli, scallions, salt and pepper to the soup, raise the heat and cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about ten minutes, then add the Daiya "cheese" and cook for five minutes more. Serve with more chopped scallions and some croutons, if that's your thing.

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