Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Happy 4th Vegan Month of Food! This is my second year participating in Vegan MoFo, and I’m really excited to be a part of it again. I’ll be posting every day of the week, along with literally hundreds of other bloggers from all over the world! It’s big, ya’all.
I decided to kick off MoFo with this veganized version of Loaded Baked Potato Soup. When we lived in Chicago (in our pre-vegetarian days), Ryan and I used to love to go to the Art Institute and then grab lunch at the Bennigan’s across the street. We always ordered our favorite baked potato soup, which sadly isn’t vegan, or even vegetarian. Obviously it’s not something we’d order these days, but this veganized version tastes almost identical to the original. Eating it made me realize how much I’d missed that soup!
Now, it may be vegan, but this is NOT the healthiest soup I’ve ever made. I actually gasped when I went to measure out the flour and margarine and realized that I was basically making potato gravy. Let’s be honest though, how awesome does potato gravy sound?! This version is much better for you than the original, but I think I might continue to tweak the recipe so I can enjoy it without worrying about buying new jeans to fit my potato gravy butt.
I also found that the original version didn’t have enough flavor for me, so I added some Bragg Seasoning and Nutritional Yeast to up the flavor a bit. I think that adding more vegetable broth and less non-dairy milk might help with seasoning as well. I like this version, but adjust the seasonings to your taste.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
4 large baking potatoes
2/3 cup Earth Balance non-hydrogenated margarine
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups vegetable broth1/4 cup nutritional yeast
couple big pinches Bragg Sprinkle Seasoning
4 thinly sliced green onions
10 tempeh bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (or vegan bacon bits)
1/2 – 1 cup shredded non-dairy cheddar cheese (I used daiya)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, pat them dry and wrap them in foil. Bake for 75 minutes or until tender. Set them aside until they’re cool enough to handle, and then peel and cube them. [I found it easiest to peel them with a sharp paring knife.]
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the margarine. Using a whisk, stir in the flour, salt, pepper and Bragg seasoning, and whip until everything is smooth and there are no lumps of flour. This is your roux. Cook until the flour loses its raw taste and the roux is bubbling.
Gradually add the almond milk and vegetable broth, about 2 cups at a time. Whip the mixture constantly to make sure you smooth out any lumps. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook and stir for a couple minutes or until it’s thickened.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the nutritional yeast. Once it’s incorporated into the soup, add the cubed potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are warmed through.
To serve, top each bowl with some chopped green onions, shredded non-dairy cheese and crumbled vegan bacon (or bacon bits), and season to taste.