Is there anything better than a piping hot bowl of creamy, chunky, savory potato soup on a chilly winter day? (psssst- the answer is NO)
When I first became vegan, I had this idea that my days of enjoying rich, creamy soups and bisques were over. I hadn’t cooked much with non-dairy plant and nut milks, and had yet to discover the wonder of the mighty CASHEW in whipping up all manner of rich creaminess. As far as I knew, things like cream of potato soup required CREAM, and since I had sworn off all dairy products, I turned my attention toward brothier soups and bade creamy potato, broccoli, and tomato soups farewell.
It wasn’t until I’d been vegan for almost a year that I was introduced to the wonders of cooking with cashews– which are partly responsible for the rich and creamy texture of this potato soup– and began experimenting with using them to replace things like cream and butter in sauces and soups. And don’t even get me started on cashew cheeses! SWOON. That’s a post for another day. Replacing the traditional milk and butter in this soup with a scant 1/2 cup of cashews lets you keep the creamy richness at just a fraction of the fat. WIN!
So without further ado, let’s get cooking, shall we?
***Just a quick note about blenders (okay I snuck in a little more “ado” there, sorry): Optimal blending and incorporation of the cashews in this recipe really requires a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, which I use, or a Blendtec, which is of similar calibur. For years I swore I didn’t need one, that my regular blender was just FINE. And it was, for some things, but in many areas it just fell short, like getting sauces or cheese bases with cashews silky smooth, or blending a kale smoothie to perfection with no chewy bits. I won’t lie, I hated spending the money for my Vitamix, even after I found the best deal possible on a reconditioned model from The Blender Lady, but when I used it for the first time, I was HOOKED. But, if you don’t yet have a high-powered blender, don’t worry–you can STILL make this soup! Just follow the alternate instructions at the end of the recipe, and it’ll still be just as tasty.
- 6 cups cubed Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
- 1 small or 1/2 large yellow or white onion, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond, cashew, or other plant-based milk
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add potatoes, and cook until soft but not mushy.
- While potatoes are cooking, add all other ingredients to your blender, and process until the cashews are blended smooth. Add additional salt or pepper if needed.
- When the potatoes are done, drain and return to pot, then coarsely mash, leaving it as chunky as you'd like it. I personally like to mash the potatoes so that about half of them are left in nice bite-sized chunks.
- Pour the blender sauce into the potato pot and stir to combine. If it's too thick, more broth or almond milk can be added to thin a bit, then adjust seasoning accordingly if needed.
- Garnish with sliced scallions and vegan bacon bits, or if desired, vegan cheese shreds. I've even added sliced sundried tomatoes to this soup--super tasty!
- Soak your cashews in water overnight, then just before blending, boil them for about 5 minutes to soften them up. This helps a lot, but you may find that your sauce is still just a tad grainy. In this case, I'd leave your potatoes a little chunkier to mask any residual graininess.