Food Network Kitchen's Vegan Baked Potato Soup.
Recipe courtesy of Miriam Garron for Food Network Kitchen

Vegan Baked Potato Soup

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: About 2 quarts; 4 to 6 servings
Knobby, starchy russet potatoes are the humble heroes of comfort foods that run the gamut from homey to luxurious, especially when partnered with dairy. This soup is one of the homier ones: lots of potato, plus some cashew milk and vegan sour cream make for a creamy, chunky, loaded-potato kind of soup. Despite the name, we boil the potatoes in vegetable broth and cashew milk instead of baking, which speeds things up and increases the potato flavor. Be sure to pull out a good amount of cooked potato before pureeing the soup or it will edge toward mashed potatoes. As for the potato peel topping (a vegan alternative to bacon bits), the less potato flesh you remove with the peel the crispier your fried bits will be.



Special equipment:
an immersion blender or regular blender
  1. Heat a medium-size heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the scallion whites and all but about 1/4 cup of the scallion greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, until tender and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the broth, cashew milk, potatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a generous amount of pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender and crumble when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. The cashew milk will look curdled when it first comes to a boil and for a few minutes after it simmers, but it will smooth out when the soup is pureed.
  2. While the potatoes cook, dry the reserved potato peelings well. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potato peels flesh-side down in a single layer and fry, turning once or twice, until crispy and golden brown, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon, then immediately season with salt and a generous dusting of smoked paprika and transfer to a plate or rack—the longer they stay on towels, the quicker they de-crisp.
  3. When the potatoes are done, turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to scoop one-third to one-half of the chunks into a bowl. Puree the remaining mixture in the pot with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, allow the mixture to cool slightly and then puree in batches in a regular blender. (See Cook's Note.) Stir in the nutritional yeast and vegan sour cream until smooth.
  4. Return the potato chunks to the soup, crumbling them a bit as you drop them into the pot. Heat over low heat until hot; it doesn’t have to come to a boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Divide the soup among shallow bowls and top each with some vegan cheddar, a dollop of sour cream and some reserved scallion greens. Crumble the potato peels over the tops.

Cook’s Note

Boxed vegetable broth comes in a wide variety of colors and flavors; if you want a whiter potato soup, look for one of the clear, light broths, not the carrot-heavy orange versions. Pureeing the soup right in the pot with an immersion blender keeps it rustic; do it in a regular blender and it will be silkier and a little more elegant. The regular blender can also make the soup a little pasty because it smashes the potato starch so thoroughly.