I love a good, hearty soup, especially during the fall and winter months. This love has led me down an interesting path of soup recipe trial and error, ranging from making my own vegan “chicken” and “beef” stocks to the tedious process of peeling and seeding tomatoes to make homemade tomato rice soup to making a cashew cream base for a vegan cream of asparagus soup. Really, I’ve tried them all.
However, there’s one recipe that has always been my favorite: my great grandmother’s potato soup. It’s my ultimate comfort food. Traditionally, this soup is made with bacon as the base and incorporates milk as a thickening agent. Since I’ve been vegetarian for around seven years, though, I’ve modified it to meet my dietary restrictions, and with the inclusion of fresh herbs, this soup packs plenty of flavor without the bacon. Coupled with a few slices of warm French bread, it’s the perfect meal for a cold winter night.
3 leeks, sliced and rinsed
3 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, sliced (I like to slice them on an angle for larger pieces)
8-oz. package of white mushrooms, sliced
4–5 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped (I use Yukon Gold)
2 32-oz. cartons of vegetable stock (I use Imagine organic brand)
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3–4 sage leaves, chopped
Chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper
• Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of a large stock pot. Add the leeks and let simmer until transparent. Then, add the sliced mushrooms, rosemary, and sage and cook until the mushrooms brown.
• Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. When broth comes to a boil, add the celery and carrots and cook approximately 20 minutes until tender.
• Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes.
• Take 3–4 full ladles of the soup and pour into a blender. Puree the mixture and then add it back to the soup pot. This allows for a thicker consistency without the use of milk or flour.
• Add the chives and parsley and stir well.
• Serve with fresh French bread.