It’s fall, it’s time to eat potatoes and root vegetables with every meal. I was craving potato soup this morning but didn’t feel like following my potato jalapeño soup recipe plus I’m out of jalapeños (sinful, I know!) I was also feeling lazy so I wanted the soup to make itself. That’s not too much to ask for, right?! I decided to roast Yukon potatoes with onions and a head of garlic and then puree the whole thing and add milk. Easy, right? So easy.
I used to live in cold, blistery Wisconsin back in 2000 (in Madison, one of the greatest cities in America). I was only vegetarian at the time and the stereotype is true: Wisconsinites love dairy. I had never in my life consumed so much dairy and it never occurred to me that it was hurting me or the animals. My friend Kim used to make this mouth-watering Mexican Corn Chowder that I would salivate over simply by thinking of it. I went vegan in 2004 and lost the ability to recreate her magical soup. I tried with soy milk, I tried with using thickeners, I tried a ton of different ways but nothing was able to capture the creaminess of the original. Enter So Delicious Coconut Creamer.
After thirteen years of not eating meat, I have come to realize I am over tofu. Don’t get me wrong, I love it as much as the next person but I fell into a rut of cooking everything with tofu, ordering everything with tofu, and basically not expanding outside of my tofu bubble. This past summer I started having issues digesting soy so I cut it out from my diet. The result is better health and a new outlook on my food options. I’ve never made my own seitan, bought it to make at home or ordered it in dishes while out because good ole reliable tofu was always there instead. With tofu out of my life, seitan has snuck in and become my new best friend. My options for breakfast have definitely been limited by eliminating tofu from my diet. Enter seitan to save the day. This seitan potato hash hit the spot like the millions of tofu scrambles I’ve made in my day. The options are endless but this is the version I put together this morning.
I love making extravagant meals as much as the next person but every once in awhile something simple, warm and delicious is all I crave. I created this recipe to be the least amount of work with the most amount of flavor using staples I always keep stocked. I use diced tomatoes with basil and oregano instead of adding my own herbs in order to keep it simple and consistent. You are welcome to used plain diced tomatoes and add your own fresh or dried herbs. This soup comes together really easily and feels warm and comforting after a long day. Serve with a green salad and some crusty bread.
Italian Peasant Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
One medium onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 celery rib, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1/2 can tomato paste
4 cups vegetable stock
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup green beans or peas
1/4-1/2 tsp salt & 15 cranks fresh pepper
1 tsp Red pepper flakes
1) Warm olive oil in a large soup pot.
2) Add onions, garlic, celery and salt. Saute until fragrant and translucent.
3) Add tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable stock. Bring to a light boil.
4) Add potatoes then reduce heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes.
5) Add the green beans or peas and simmer until potatoes are tender.
6) Add the rest of the spices according to taste. Serve hot.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 3-4 bowls
This spicy potato and peppers stir fry could easily be served as a breakfast food though I ate it as a light dinner. I originally wanted to make it with tempeh but decided TVP (textured vegetable protein) would be faster and easier. You could easily make this with store bought ‘ground beef’, ‘sausage’ or tempeh or just go with the potatoes and peppers for a simpler side dish.
Green Chiles Potatoes and Peppers with TVP
3/4 cup TVP
3/4 cup boiling water
1 tsp garlic powder (though I used Goya Adobo)
2 1/2 tbsp of grapeseed oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of peppers, chopped (I used green, red and yellow)
1 4.5 can of green chiles
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 tbsp salsa verde
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (about 25 cranks)
1. Pour the boiling water on the TVP, mix with garlic powder and set aside for 10 minutes to reconstitute
2. Heat oil on medium high heat in a non-stick saute or stir fry pan
3. Add TVP and brown for 7-10 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning/sticking to pan
4. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring often
5. Add peppers and garlic and continue to stir fry for another 3 minutes
6. Add the can of green chiles and stir fry for another 2 minutes
7. Add the rest of the ingredients except fresh pepper and stir until well mixed and then cover to create a steam effect to cook the potatoes
8. Lift cover and stir every couple of minutes to avoid burning/sticking to pan
9. The dish will be done when potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes
10. Top with fresh ground pepper, adjust salt according to personal taste and top with your favorite hot sauce or salsa
Total Prep and Cooking Time: About 45 minutes-1 hour
Total Servings: 5-6 side dishes or 3-4 entrees
The secret to this soup is using the right amount of jalapeño so it gives it a spicy kick without overwhelming the delicate flavors of the potatoes and leeks. Though I generally leave the seeds of jalapeños in for extra spiciness, they tend to overwhelm the flavor of this soup so I do recommend you remove them.
Potato Jalapeño Soup
1/4 cup of earth balance
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 leek (white part only) finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper with the seeds and veins removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp of sea salt
1 bay leaf
2 bouillon cubes mixed in water or vegetable stock, enough to cover potatoes
6 peeled, washed and cubed russet potatoes
2 cups of plain soy milk
1. Heat earth balance in large soup pot on medium high heat.
2. Add leeks, onions and salt and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes). Do not brown.
3. Add garlic and jalapeño and stir together for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, bay leaf,
bouillon or stock (enough to cover potatoes)
4. Bring to a light boil, cover and reduce heat to medium
5. When potatoes become soft (about 20-30 minutes), pull out the bay leaf
and drain the potatoes, making sure to save the liquid.
6. Mash with a potato masher or large fork. Do not use an electric mixer or the
potatoes will become gummy.
7. Once mashed, add the 2 cups of soy milk and stir over low heat. Add reserved broth slowly until desired consistency. Further puree using an immersion blender, a wire whisk, electric mixer (though only for a short period of time to avoid the gummy effect) or wait to cool and blend in a blender. You can also leave it slightly chunky for extra texture.
8. Serve with fresh ground pepper.
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 1-1/2 hours
Total Servings: 4-5 bowls
*A special thank you to Jannequin Bennett’s book, “The Complete Vegan Kitchen” for suggesting mashing the potatoes before pureeing.