Potato and Cheddar Soup (with non-dairy alternative)

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Occasionally we just need a really fast dinner, something that comes together in less than an hour. And sometimes we need to go meatless. This soup is so hearty and filling that it is a great entree with a small salad or steamed broccoli. I have made my potato soup dairy free for years, and still do not add milk, but I have started adding cheddar cheese with delicious results. And if you just happen to have a few slices of cooked bacon, chop those up and put them in the final seasoning stage. Oh my!

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs organic potatoes — red or golden are best, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large or 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 cups grated organic mild or medium* cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp organic butter or oil (optional)
  • 1-3 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
  • 2 cloves fresh organic garlic, minced

Putting it Together

  • In a large sauce pan or stock pot place potatoes and onions with just enough water to cover them; add 1-2 tsp salt
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook until very tender (approximately 20 minutes) — potatoes fall apart when a fork is inserted
  • Remove from heat (do not drain) and puree potatoes, onions and water using a hand blender (stick blender) until creamy. You can use a regular blender but be very careful as the soup is very, very hot and you will need to puree in several batches.
  • Add grated cheese and butter, and stir until melted.
  • Dairy-free or vegan version: omit the cheese and butter.
  • Season with salt, pepper, cumin, dried mustard powder, and fresh minced garlic to taste. Amounts listed are suggestions; you season your soup the way you like it. The fresh garlic adds a delicious kick. If you prefer, you can use granulated garlic powder (1/2 – 1 tsp). I use a wire whisk to incorporate seasonings.
  • Ladle into bowls and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Caution: hot soup can burn mouth — blow on each spoonful for the first few minutes.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with organic blue corn tortilla chips
  • Add a few slices of cooked bacon to soup in seasoning stage for another level of flavor
  • Delicious with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, or just grilled cheese
  • A chewy, crunchy bread and fresh organic butter is perfect with each bowl.
  • Gently stir in small steamed broccoli florets to soup when finished for a bright green splash, or serve steamed broccoli on the side
  • Great with a crunchy raw veggie marinated salad: colorful bell peppers, red onions, cucumbers, broccoli florets, sugar snap peas, and for a Greek touch, feta cheese, all marinated in a delicious vinaigrette.

*Sharp cheddar cheese lends a slightly bitter taste to this soup. Although I do use sharp if that is all that I have I much prefer mild or medium cheddar. Of course, you can always experiment with other cheeses, or just use what is on hand. You don’t even need any cheese at all which is the way we ate potato soup for over 20 years. This soup is delicious dairy free!

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