Creamy Baked Potato Soup

Tonight all I wanted was a big bowl of hearty soup. When I came across this recipe I couldn’t resist. Easy, filling, creamy and comforting. Perfect for a cold San Francisco evening. But how does one make a creamy dairy-free soup? Coconut milk? Almond milk? Cashews? This time my friends… the answer is almonds. Yup almonds. They add a rich creamy texture that’s hard to beat and will be something I experiment with more in the future.

Creamy Potato Soup - kalelovesquinoa

Since I was feeling more hungry than creative tonight, I didn’t experiment much with garnishes. But some nice things to try might be smashed russet potatoes, crispy kettle chips, roasted cauliflower or veggie bacon bits. Have fun experimenting and in the meantime, enjoy this soup!

Creamy Potato Soup Potatos | kalelovesquinoa

Creamy Baked Potato Soup
Prep time: 30min – 1hr …it really only takes about 20 minutes but you need to soak your almonds for at least an hour
Serves 4 – 6

What you need:

1/2 cup raw almonds (soaked and then peeled)
1 1/2 cups water (you could also use some GF veggie broth)
1 extra large russett potato (or two small) (about 3 cups sliced potato)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp  fresh ground pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt to taste
1 tsp nutmeg (literally a late-night revelation, I’d say it’s optional, but I love nutmeg and it adds great flavor!)
1/2 tsp garlic
pinch of cayenne or chili powder for some heat!

What you do:
  1. Soak almonds for at least an hour in warm salt water. If you can, it’s best to soak these overnight but if you don’t have that kind of time 1 – 2 hours should do the trick.
  2. While your almonds are soaking, prep and peel potato and boil in hot water until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Once your almonds are done soaking, drain and rinse. Next, soak them in boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes. To peel, drain almonds and squeeze them gently between your fingers and the almond should pop right out!
  4. Now it’s blending time! Add boiled potato, peeled almonds, water and spices to a high speed blender or large food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to add more liquid depending on how thick you like your soup, I added a little more myself.
  5. Heat it up in a microwave and serve! Top with a tad more salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. and for some yummy garnish ideas try chopped cilantro, chives, warm veggie bacon bits, or crispy potato chips yum 🙂
Creamy Potato Soup | kalelovesquinoa
Adapted from lunchboxbunch.com

Carrot Soup with Avocado & Crisped Chickpeas

I love soup. I don’t really love all the extra sodium and “chemically bits” that get added to most store bought soups. So I was on a mission to find a tasty soup recipe that wouldn’t take me 5 hours to make. I also just really wanted to use the new blender I got for Christmas.

Carrot Soup with Avocado and Crisped Chickpeas kalelovesquinoa

The original recipe did not call for avocado… so I added it, of course. In fact, I think most recipes could benefit from the addition of avocado but that’s a separate issue. I eat a lot of avocado. Anyway, here it is, enjoy! Let me know if you make this and what you think.

Carrot Soup with Avocado & Crisped Chickpeas
Total prep & cook time: 1 hour or so
Serves 4 to 6 depending on serving size

What you need:

For the soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds  carrots, peeled and diced
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 regular or 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt (I love pink Himalayan sea salt!)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground ginger
4 cups vegetable broth (make sure it’s GF!)
1 Avocado, parsley and pinch of cayenne pepper for topping

For the chickpeas:
1 15-ounce  can chickpeas – also known as garbanzo beans 😉 – drained, patted dry
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or regular)
hearty pinch of cayenne pepper (gives them a kick!)

What you do:

  1. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Then add carrots, onion, coriander, fennel, cumin, sea salt, pepper and ginger. Sauté until they begin to brown, about 10 – 15 minutes. TIP: Always make sure you have a hot pan and hot oil before sautéing your garlic, onions etc. You want the garlic to sizzle when it hits the oil in the pan. That’s how you know it’s ready. Otherwise your are more likely to burn whatever it is you’re cooking if the oil isn’t hot enough! 
  2. While your veggies are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper until coated. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil for easy clean up and spread chickpeas evenly. Roast in the oven until they’re browned and crisp, which can take anywhere from 10 – 20 minuted or even longer, depending on the size and firmness of chickpeas and how much olive oil is used. For me, it actually took about 25 minutes but I like them really crispy. Just keep an eye on them and make sure to toss them occasionally, making sure they’re toasting evenly.
  3. Back to the soup! Once the veggies have begun to brown, add vegetable broth. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, approx 20 – 30 minutes.
  4. Once carrots are nice and soft, transfer soup (in batches if necessary) to blender and puree until smooth. Note: A hand blender would also work.
  5. Serve immediately! Top with avocado, crisped chickpeas and garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of paprika. Yum!

What’d you think!? Not too difficult and the results are well worth it. What is your favorite winter soup? I think celery or cauliflower might be next on my list.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.