Creamy Potato Soup

Last November I had the opportunity to attend a cooking class at Peaceful River Farms in North Carolina. Here's a quick summary of this amazing farm directly from their webiste: 

Peaceful River Farm is a sustainable produce farm and culinary classroom, aiming to promote health and well-being in the local community through healthy cooking classes, great recipes, plant-based farm dinners, and sustainably grown produce available through a variety of markets.

They offer cooking classes with different chefs from around North Carolina and when I was there we got a tour of the farm from Larry Newlin who was so passionate about his plants, it was inspiring. It is A LOT of work to care for my 3 little raised beds, I just can't imagine the work it takes to care for their farm. But they do so excitedly and with a heart for their community. They host beautiful farm dinners on their patio over looking their farm, as well. I hope to be able to make it to one soon!  

Okay, back to our Thanksgiving cooking class! I have to admit that I was a little bit nervous because it was Thanksgiving time and I was imagining lots of mushroom dishes and I HATE mushrooms. I know, I know I KNOW-a vegan that doesn't like mushrooms. But seriously gross you guys. You can imagine my surprise and delight when the class started off with an amazing butternut squash soup, a roasted cauliflower salad, sauteed Brussels sprouts, sourdough stuffing (no mushrooms!), and THE MOST INCREDIBLE MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY. People say using all caps is obnoxious but I just don't know how else to emphasize how delicious this was. Why was it so good you ask? What could be so good about something so simple like mashed potatoes and gravy? Two words: CASHEW CREAM. Lee's recipe from the farm-to-table cooking class should be given an award of some sort. It is SO good. The class was on a Saturday and I recreated the entire meal on Tuesday. If you follow me on social media you might remember me gushing about it back then, as well! 

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Look at how creamy?! Simple ingredients and so easy to whip together! 

Now on to the the soup! One of the things I miss the most from my pre-vegan days is my dad's cooking. Specifically, his baked potato soup. Until recently I'd just been relying on blending part of the soup and adding in a couple splashes of almond milk but it just wasn't the same. It lacked the thick and creamy texture that heavy cream provides. Then I was thinking, I need to make those mashed potatoes from my cooking class but in soup form! And so this soup was born! 

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Start by chopping your veggies and getting your ingredients ready. Use this part as a guide! What veggies do you like in your potato soup? Add some chopped celery or maybe even some jalapeno for spice! Throw in your potatoes and vegetable stock and let everything simmer and get to know each other real good. 

Once the potatoes are tender, throw about 1/3 of the soup in your high powdered blender until smooth. Next up is the magic. Combine your blended soup and your liquid gold AKA Cashew Cream, all into the pot with the rest of the non-blended soup. You're gonna want to take a few (many) tastes to make sure it's juuuuuust right. 

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Here are the deets so you can make this ASAP! 

CREAMY POTATO SOUP

INGREDIENTS

  • 15-18 small new potatoes (or about 5 or 6 medium yellow potatoes), diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste (you should be tasting and seasoning as you go to fit your desired taste!)
  • 1 recipe Cashew Cream (below)

Cashew Cream (this is Lee Newlin's recipe from Peaceful River Farm!) 

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked overnight if not using a high powered blender)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. Apple Cider Vinigar
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make your cashew cream. Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until creamy, set aside. 
  2. Add your onion, carrots, and garlic and saute in olive oil until soft and onions are translucent. Season with salt. 
  3. Add your potatoes and mix with sauteed veggies. 
  4. Add in your vegetable stock, dried thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes. 
  5. Remove the bay leaves and ladle about 1/3 of the soup into a blender. Blend until smooth and pour back into your pot. 
  6. Add your cashew cream and combine. 
  7. Serve with crackers or a delicious grilled cheese (Daiya Cheddar Slices are a new favorite of mine!) or leave room for seconds or thirds! 

Is potato soup one of your favorites too? Let me know what you think in the comments! Use the hashtag #plantbasedplanner on instagram if you make any of my dishes, I'd love to see!