Another wonderful comfort food my mom used to make was her potato soup. It was always a special day when she made the soup as it was also a labor of love (kind of like the lasagna!). I used to get drafted in to helping her peel potatoes, a task that is still not one of my favorites! She had an old mandolin that she would use to slice the potatoes. Sometimes she would give me one or two slices of raw potato to eat. I think that’s when I learned to like raw potatoes. She would use those beef bullion cubes that dissolved in water…they were sooooo salty, but I used to love to lick them! She would carefully slice the bacon and leeks, ensuring the leeks were paper-thin. She would also ‘coddle’ sour cream and raw egg yolks (or bring them to room temp, then temper with the cooking liquid so it didn’t curdle when you put it in the hot soup). I still remember how much I liked tasting that raw egg/sour cream mixture…today I can’t believe I used to eat it!
After I moved out on my own, I also learned to make the soup, and it always was a favorite. After starting my plant strong journey, I made several attempts to make the soup, sans any animal products. Vegan bac-O’s work well, but getting the soup to thicken is always tough (I never wanted to try a tofu sour cream…I’m just not a fan). My cooking skills have evolved over the past few years, and I think this last batch is as close as I can get to my mom’s potato soup, without using animal products.
I did learn to make my own vegan bac-O’s using Textured Vegetable Protein from another bloggers recipe which I’ll share at another time. In the past I’ve used vegetable broth and the soup seemed to be lacking. This time I remembered that Happy Herbivore has a No Beef Broth that I’ve used before. I tried it this time and it was a success. The recipe for the no beef broth is in Happy Herbivore’s Every Day Meals (On the table in 30 Minutes or Less) Cookbook.
Here’s the yummy recipe that is a keeper. I didn’t take any pictures as I was concentrating on cooking, but I have a finished photo…it was very yummy!
Mom’s Potato Soup
6-8 Yukon potatoes
2-3 medium Yukon’s cooked, peeled
1-3 leeks, depending on size
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 Cups Happy Herbivores No Beef Broth
1 Cup vegetable stock (low sodium)
6 cups of water (or enough to cover potatoes)
1 tsp liquid smoke (hickory)
2 TBS (or more) whole wheat pastry flour or some other type of flour (I don’t recommend cornstarch)
2-3 TBS Vegan ‘bac O’s’ (I made mine with Textured Vegetable Protein)
1/2 -3/4 Cup Almond or soy milk
1. Peel and thinly slice potatoes (about 1/4 inch or so) and rinse and soak in cold water.
2. Dice onion, shallot and garlic and thinly slice the stalks of the leeks (don’t use the leaves in this soup).
3. Heat soup pot and add a little bit of veggie broth. Add the onions and saute over medium heat about 5 minute, till they start to turn opaque (not quite clear). Add about a tsp of bac uns for fragrance then add garlic, shallots and saute until they are fragrant (3 mins?). Add leeks, and loosen them up while sauteing (add a little more broth if necessary). Saute about 3-5 minutes…they should start to fall about and be soft.
4. Add about 1-2 tbs of the flour to the mixture and mix well (don’t add any liquid yet). Stir until well blended and all items are covered with the mixture (it will kind of gooey).
5. Add broth, water and drained potatoes. Depending on the size of your potatoes, you may need to add a little more broth or water to cover the potatoes.
6. Bring to boil, then turn heat down to a simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until potatoes start to break apart and most leeks and onions have disappeared.
7. Puree the cooked potatoes, a little soy milk and a about 1/4 cup or less of the hot broth in a food processor, immersion blender or blender (I used an immersion blender). Add this to the soup and stir. I added a few more bac uns for a little flavor.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley (I was out this time!) and serve with some warm crusty bread.