[RECIPE] Creamy Vegan Potato & Cauliflower Soup

Something came up last minute and my dentist appointment this past weekend had to be rescheduled for a weekday afternoon. As such, I got out of the office early to make it to this appointment (still ended up being about 12 minutes late because there was an unnatural amount of traffic and lets not talk about the traffic after the appointment). This got me excited because I found this awesome soup recipe and I wouldn’t need to prep the ingredients the night before for the next day’s dinner and I wouldn’t need to run around when I got home to cook it.

In theory. You know – because I forgot to factor in after-work traffic and how yesterday was the first official day of the Rodeo.

Most of my plans ended up not going through. I didn’t get home on time. I didn’t end up making an absolutely delicious-sounding soup for dinner. It wasn’t a relaxing evening at all. In fact, we were stuck in so much traffic that we (husband was with me… our dentist is a bit far so we try to carpool to save on the gas and book out appointments at the same time) decided to go to Chinatown and get our dinner there, because I have a deadline for dinners (I can’t eat that late and the prep work would definitely push me past my dinner time). I also got a little special treat from Bambu to try to calm my growling stomach for the 1 hour ride back into the city for dinner, so I guess it wasn’t too bad. The only thing that went according to plan was that I did end up cooking the soup – but a much more simple version based off of the original for the next day’s lunch with mushrooms thrown into the mix because I found some that weren’t looking so good in my fridge. Sadness.

Soup - 3

Excuse the not-so-pretty-to-look-at photos. I literally only made it for lunch at 9 PM the night before, so it’s not quite photogenic. How do you make off-white-golden soup look beautiful, anyway? Although it lacks somewhat in the visual department, I have to say that I loved how it tasted. 🙂 It even tastes better the next day (as seems to be the case with most soups)!

Creamy Vegan Potato & Cauliflower Soup
(serves 8 people)

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs of Cauliflower, cut into large florets
2 large (~ 1-1/4 lbs) Russet Potatoes, cubed
8 ounces of Mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 stalks of Celery, diced
3 TBSP of Coconut Oil
1 cup of Cashew Nuts
4 cups (1 quart) of Almond Milk, or other non-dairy milk
2 cups of Vegetable Broth
2 to 3 TBSP of Nutritional Yeast, or to taste
1 tsp of Paprika
1/2 tsp of Powdered Chipotle, scant (or to taste)
1/2 tsp of Liquid Smoke (optional)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, submerge the cashews in the quart of non-dairy milk and let them soak to soften.
  2. Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. When hot enough (a piece of celery dropped begins to sizzle a little), add in the celery and mushrooms and season lightly with some salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until they are halfway cooked and soft and the mushrooms have begun releasing their liquid, then add the potatoes and continue cooking for about 3 to 5 more minutes.
  3. Add in the paprika and chipotle and stir a bit to combine before adding in the cauliflower and giving it another stir. Let it cook for a couple more minutes before adding in the milk-and-cashew mix as well as the vegetable broth. Give it another good stir to combine and bring to a boil before lowering the heat. Allow to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until all of the ingredients are soft and tender.
  4. Remove from the heat and using an immersion blender, carefully blend the soup until smooth and creamy (or until it reaches your desired consistency). At this point, stir in the nutritional yeast and taste once more, adding any additional seasonings. If using the liquid smoke, add it here as well.
  5. Serve hot with a side of crusty bread, veggies, and other form of protein like tempeh or even the bac’n suggested in the original recipe.

Soup - 1

I didn’t have much on hand and was getting tired, so I just took out a bunch of asparagus, cleaned/peeled them, cut them in half so they would fit into my Pyrex lunch bowl better, and roasted them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, at 400 F for about 10 minutes. Simple, delicious, and nutritious!

Soup - 4

The soup was flavorful – the smoky goodness from the chipotle and paprika, the slight bite from the chipotle, the “umami” flavoring lended over from the mushrooms and nutritional yeast… – and perfect. It also wasn’t ridiculously thick or filling (though it is filling) but it was really creamy. As in ‘are you sure this is vegan’ creamy. I will probably remake this soup again, but will roast the potatoes (as a note, I used almost 1.5 lbs of potatoes for this one batch of soup) and cauliflower like the original recipe said because I do love what roasting does to veggies in the flavor department. This could be dangerous though, because roasted veggies are perfect on their own… I may not have enough left for the soup!

And yes, if you’re still stuck on the twin glass bowls of soup with asparagus haphazardly thrown on top, that was my thought process. What do I do to make this drab-colored soup look better?

Soup - 2

Throw on the asparagus.

BOOM.

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