A simple and sublime soup--perfect for this time of year!
I just harvested a ton of this chard (the plant that keeps on giving) two days ago--I have plenty more to go.
I don't remember what this romaine type of lettuce is called, all I know is that it was noted as a "hardy" in cold type, and we had it in our salad last night and it was delicious!
Nothing satisfies quite like the potato. I could eat them every day. I ran a ton of errands yesterday and found myself on the last leg of my trip at Whole Foods. I always look over their food bar offerings--because I am always hungry! Inevitably, if there is a potato concoction sitting there, I am packing some into a cardboard container for snacking and re-fueling in my car before my trip home. I have a strong craving for potatoes right now, along with my sweet tooth. Lucky for me my newsletter I get from "Active" had an article in it today that caught my eye. It was titled: 7 Tips for Healthy, Happy Holidays. Right in the second paragraph was the answer to my questions and justification for my undeniable craving for sweets. The article states that we are hard-wired for some of our food cravings, particularly sweets. They've even done tests showing how single cell protozoa (hello, junior high science--I have no idea what a protozoa is--but it seems to be something we all have--my husband the scientist could explain this, but this is not his blog!)--it explains that the protozoa will head straight for sucrose (sugar) when observed in a petri dish. I feel like I am a living and larger example of this protozoa in a much larger petri dish (my kitchen) as I head straight for the sugar this time of year, too!
Speaking of sweets, last night I bargained with my husband to please, please watch the Martha Stewart Holiday Cookie Baking Special on Fine Living Network--an hour of cookies with Martha--I was in heaven! We had a toasty warm bowl of potato soup, a wonderful salad with fresh greens from my garden made with a homemade fig balsamic vinegar and extra virgin lemon olive oil (I like four parts oil to one part vinegar). It felt great to eat fresh food. . .still, in December. (Though I have said I am not paticularly a salad gal--this salad was delicious). My December garden is still putting out the greens, chard, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. They all look great! Today I will order my seed catalogs--so excited! With our soup, we had left over dinner rolls and indulged our senses by spending an hour watching Martha bake! Then after, we watched the first part of the season finale of Top Chef. It was a great food and TV night!
So, for this soup, let me first tell you that making a potato soup is not rocket science. And if done properly, it can be one of the best soups you've ever had. If done improperly, it can be a pan of glue--don't over stir this! As a left over--it tastes even better. I feel this recipe is done properly and, is one of my best soup recipes on hand. So easy, so economical.
Vegan Creamy Potato Herb Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
5 medium red potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups vegetable stock
Spike seasoning or S & P to taste
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/3-1/2 cup Silk Soy Creamer (depends upon how creamy you like your soup)
2 tablespoons Tofutti soy cream cheese
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add onions and celery and let saute for about 5 minutes. Next add garlic. Then, add potatoes and seasonings and let this all simmer for about another 5 minutes. Add the Veggie stock and let simmer uncovered for about 15 mintues. Test the potatoes for doneness with a fork. If they feel a bit undercooked, you can cover the pot and let them simmer another 5 minutes or so. Next, add the soy creamer and soy cream cheese. It will all look a bit clumpy and white--that is okay. Just keep stirring until the soy cream cheese has dissolved. Next, take an immersion blender and carefully blend the soup to your desired consistency. If you'd like, add a swirl of extra virgin olive oil in the soup for flavor--I added a bit of my all-time favorite lemon flavor! I prefer my soup to have a few lumps in it and not be completely pureed. This soup warms up nicely as a leftover--actually, I think it gets better!