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This loaded potato soup is creamy and comforting. A perfect, heart-warming bowl to enjoy in the cold months of winter. It’s full of healthy ingredients that hide well if you opt to blend it, making this an easy win for those picky eaters you know. Full of flavour, this warming soup brings to mind all of the delicious flavours of a fully loaded baked potato.  It’s completely whole food plant-based, vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free, so you can enjoy without any guilt.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Humble Potato

 

Potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. Studies done to measure the satiety of food found that potatoes were the most satisfying food tested. This means that the humble potato, naturally low in fat and calories, will keep you feeling fuller, longer. When you are full and satisfied, you’re not going to be heading back to the kitchen to hunt for snacks.

 

Potatoes are a great source of vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C and fibre. They have been found to contain a compound called kukoamines, which are believed to help lower blood pressure. They are also widely available and pretty cheap. This makes them an excellent, budget-friendly staple in a plant-based diet.    

 

 

Inspiration

 

Have you ever tasted something at a restaurant and instantly thought “I have to make this”? Well, this is exactly what went through my mind when I tried a potato soup with a kick that was served up at a local vegan restaurant we love.  

 

While I enjoy going out occasionally to try the delicious foods served by local vegan restaurants, I know that they generally don’t adhere to the oil and refined sugar-free kitchen I keep at home. That’s okay though since a vegan treat here or there is fine. But I instantly knew this was a soup I just had to have again, so I needed to replicate it in a WFPB way.  

 

It took a few versions to get the texture I was looking for. It turned out nice and creamy without any cashews or non-dairy milk. This is a plus if you’re watching your calories. This vegan potato soup is a light option and very low in fat.  

 

 

 

What You’ll Need

 

This loaded potato soup is pretty simple to make and uses ingredients you may already have on hand.  

 

Russet potatoes

Cauliflower

Celery

Carrots

Yellow onion

Red lentils

Vegetable broth

Garlic cloves

Nutritional yeast

Smoked paprika

Salt

Pepper

Bay leaf  

 

You can peel your potatoes if you wish. Or leave the skin on for a more rustic texture. If you opt to leave the skin on, just give your spuds a good scrub.  

 

Cauliflower is a versatile ingredient that works really well in this soup. It also bumps up the nutrition factor, adding some nice cruciferous veggies to the mix. If you have picky kids at home, this is an excellent way to sneak some extra nutrients into them.  

 

The red lentils will break down nicely in this loaded potato soup. They won’t be noticeable, but they add some fibre, protein, and iron, as well as other important vitamins and minerals.  

 

You can use whichever vegetable broth you like, or homemade if you prefer. A nice flavourful broth makes a difference in the final product, so if you opt for water instead, you’ll need to pump up the spices a bit.  

 

 

Equipment

 

I often opt for my instant pot for meals like these so I can set it and forget it. This allows me to get other things done while it’s cooking away. If you don’t have an instant pot or pressure cooker, no problem. I’ve included stove top directions as well. You’ll use a nice big pot with a lid instead.

 

Blitz the soup in the blender once cooked if you like your potato soup creamy. If you like a little more texture, an immersion blender will work quite well too.

 

A knife and cutting board will also be required to chop up your veggies, as well as a large wooden spoon for stirring.  

 

 

 

 

 

Making Loaded Potato Soup

 

 

Instant Pot

 

If you’re making this in the instant pot, your method is pretty simple. You’re going to wash, prepare and chop all your veggies, rinse your lentils in a fine mesh strainer, and measure out all your other ingredients. You can either peel your potatoes or leave the skin on, based on your personal preference.  

 

Then, you’re going to use the sauté function on your pressure cooker. Let it heat up for about 2 minutes, then toss your onions, carrots and celery in. You can add some water if things start to stick, 1 tbsp at a time as needed.  Sauté those for about 5 minutes, or until your onions start to soften.  

 

Add the garlic and cauliflower, and sauté for another 2 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients and give it a good stir.  

 

Place the lid on your pressure cooker, ensuring that it is properly locked into place. Make sure the vent is set to sealing, and use the manual setting to cook for 8 minutes. Once done, allow it to naturally release for about 10 minutes before venting the remaining pressure and opening up your pot.  

 

Once you open the lid, give the soup a good stir and remove the bay leaf. Then you just need to blend to your preferred consistency and serve. Easy peasy. If you’re transferring to a blender, just be sure to let it cool a little first, and blend in small batches to avoid hot splashes.  

 

 

Stove Top

 

If you’re making this on the stove top, the instructions are pretty similar. Start by washing and chopping all of your veggies. Then rinse your lentils in a fine mesh strainer and measure out the rest of the ingredients.  

 

Warm a large stockpot over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften.  If things begin to look dry, you can add some water to keep them from sticking. Add 1 tbsp at a time as needed.  

 

Add the garlic and cauliflower, and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients, and cover the pot with a lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, keeping the soup at a simmer.  

 

Simmer for 25-30 minutes, checking back to stir occasionally. Simmer until the potatoes are nice and soft. Remove the bay leaf and the soup is done.  

 

From here, you can serve as is if you like a chunky soup, blend a little with an immersion blender for a smooth soup with texture, or transfer to a blender in small batches to blend smooth. If you’re transferring this to the blender, let it cool a little first, and blend in small batches to avoid being splashed with hot soup.  

 

 

Yield

 

This recipe will make roughly 12 cups of soup (depending on the size of your produce). This is enough to feed my family of four twice as a main, or more as a side. (What can I say? I’m a big fan of leftovers!)  

If you’re cooking for 1 or 2 people, you can cut this recipe in half and still have plenty left for leftovers.  

 

 

Optional Additions

 

You’ve probably noticed by now that I love my cruciferous veggies. These little gems are full of nutrients, and powerful cancer fighters. This soup already contains cauliflower, but steamed broccoli is an excellent addition as well. Steam it on the side, chop into small pieces and stir in after the blending stage.  

 

If you like things a little spicy, you can add a chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. Add it after cooking, when you start to blend the soup. It will add some nice heat and a smokier flavour.  

 

Another great stir in option is sautéed bell peppers. You can either blend them in or stir in for some chunky texture. Bell peppers are very high in vitamin C, which will aid in iron absorption. Bonus!    

 

Next time you’re craving a hearty soup that feels like a big warm hug, give this loaded potato soup a try.  

 

 

Loaded Potato Soup

Loaded Potato Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes

This rich and hearty soup is a perfect family meal on a cold day. It's full of healthy ingredients that are vegan, WFPB, oil-free, gluten-free and nut-free. Make this in your instant pot or stove top. 

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes, or 5 medium
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Wash and chop your vegetables. You can either peel the potatoes or leave the skin on, depending on your preference. 

Instant Pot

  1. Press sauté on your instant pot and let it warm for 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the onions, carrots and celery, and sauté 5 minutes, until the onions start to soften. You can add 1 tbsp of water at a time, as needed, if things start to stick. 
  3. Add the garlic and cauliflower and sauté for another 2 minutes. 
  4. Cancel the sauté mode, add the remaining ingredients and stir well. 
  5. Properly lock the lid into place, setting the valve to sealing.
  6. Using the manual mode, set to pressure cook for 8 minutes. 
  7. When done, allow to naturally release for 10 minutes before safely releasing the remaining pressure from the pot. 
  8. Remove the bay leaf and blend to your desired consistency. An immersion blender works well if you like some texture. 
  9. If you want it creamy, allow the soup to cool a little before transferring, in small batches, to your blender to blend. (Don't overfill the blender to avoid hot splashes). 

Stove Top

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the onions, carrots and celery, and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften. You can add 1 tbsp of water at a time, as needed, if things start to stick. 
  3. Add the garlic and cauliflower and sauté for another 2 minutes. 
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. 
  5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  6. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are nice and soft. 
  7. Remove the bay leaf and blend to your desired consistency. An immersion blender works well if you like some texture.
  8. If you want it creamy, allow the soup to cool a little before transferring, in small batches, to your blender to blend. (Don't overfill the blender to avoid hot splashes). 

Notes

This soup will thicken in the fridge. Just add some more veggie broth when you re-heat it to get the desired consistency. 

 

 

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