WARM UP WITH THIS VEGAN POTATO SOUP
Vegan Slow Cooker baked Potato Soup
by Meaghan Dawson from BeautyfromburntToast
Last year, in what can only be described as a fit of naive motivation, I decided to participate in a #veganuary challenge with a friend.
What is #veganuary, you ask?
Well, Pretties, #veganuary is a social media-driven challenge for January where participants pledge to consume ZERO animal products for the entire month of January. Yes, I’ll repeat that for those who blanked out in shock for a second. For the entire month of January 2021, I consumed ZERO ANIMAL PRODUCTS at all.
Now, to be fair, during this period both faithful followers and my own family questioned my sanity and doubted my ability to make it through to the 31st. I’m not going to argue and say that this isn’t a fair concern. ‘Cause, it wasn’t easy and there were times when I was doubting myself. But the thing is, at least when it comes to the vegan journey, I had committed to a friend that we would do it together and accountability is really everything, isn’t it? So for one entire month, nary an animal product crossed my lips. And this, dear reader, is how it went – AWESOME!
OK, wait. I know you’re confused by this. But bear with me.
Hard at First But Worth it
It was hard at first and required a little upfront investment in things like Vegan Butter, cashews, meatless products, and LOTS and LOTS of veggies. It also required a tremendous amount of planning for those evenings when your family is running like crazy from activity to activity. Then your husband walks through the door with a giant bag of steaming Chick Fil A at the end of it all, you’d better have a plan or you are caving FAST. And it definitely involved a few days of feeling deprived, annoyed, and more than a little bit hungry to get in the groove.
But once I did, I began to notice a few things. I noticed that my head was clearer in the afternoon after a lunch filled with veggies and lean plant protein. I noticed that my skin cleared up and started to look just a smidge like it did when I was in my 30s, which I attribute to the complete halt of all dairy products. My belly, which definitely had moments of “hey, I’m not pregnant but I sure look like I am” decided to debloat itself, and I lost a few pounds. These were all things I definitely could live with and enough to persuade me to bring about a repeat performance of #veganuary in 2022.
I understand how difficult it is for many of us to conceptualize dropping all animal products for even a week, much less a month. But I do think it’s beneficial for everyone at least once in their lives to eliminate or limit animal products in their diets just to see how their bodies respond. And the best way I know to encourage people to try it is to create easy and delicious plant-based recipes that are designed to make them forget about missing meat and dairy for a meal or two.
This completely vegan Potato Soup is just one of those recipes. An adaptation of one of my earliest slow cooker recipes, this is a plant-based version of the creamiest, most comforting potato soup you’ll ever have. It is so stick-to-your-ribs delicious and so convincing that you won’t even notice you’re missing the dairy. In fact, I simply omitted this little fact when I served my vegan potato soup to my own family and they never knew the difference. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s easy to throw together in the crockpot and go about your day.
Do I think we all need to be vegans for life? No. I don’t. But I think incorporating plant-based meals into our diets can have multiple benefits. I truly hope that amazing recipes like this one make it a little easier to give it a try.
Vegan Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup
- 4 pounds russet potatoes peeled and small diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 3 cups vegtable broth
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- boiling water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup vegan sour cream
- Thinly sliced scallions, chives, bacon, and cheese (if not vegan) for toppings.
- Add potatoes, onions, and broth to the slow cooker. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and stir. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until potatoes are tender.
- About 30 minutes before soup will be done, pour boiling water over cashews JUST until they are covered and let rest for 10 minutes to soften.
- In a high speed blender, puree cashews AND water until completely blended. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add in flour, whisking continuously until bubbly.
- Add in pureed cashews and sour cream, whisking until smooth.
- Add to soup and stir to mix.
- Cook for 10 more minutes
- Remove half of the soup to a bowl and, using an immersion blender, puree the remaining soup until smooth (alternatively, add half of soup to blender, cover lid with a towel and blend until smooth)
- Combine blended and unblended soup, stirring to combine.
- Taste, season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve with sliced chives and scallions (or bacon and cheddar if not vegan).
- Add broth to loosen during reheating.
Meaghan is a wife, mom of three, dog lover, coffee freak, and book nerd. When she’s not wrangling her family and driving them around town in her Mom Taxi, she is a writer, blogger, and recipe creator over at BeautyfromBurntToast. Her biggest passion is helping people feel confident in the kitchen by making cooking accessible with quick and easy recipes that the whole family will love. In a roundabout way, this makes her a wanna be GYPO for the kitchen and explains why she loves the outfit formulas so much. They’re easy and accessible and make life better for everyone.