Recipe: Comforting White Bean Potato Soup

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Even Peanut’s overwhelmed by recipe development! He came right over and sat in my pile of cookbooks as if to say “stop looking at what other people do, just do you!”

I’m not gonna lie: creating recipes can be pretty intimidating. After all these years of cooking, I’m at a place where I can confidently improvise in the kitchen and know that my meals will come out tasting good (like 90% of the time!). I know what ingredients will taste good together, I know approximately how long to cook things, and I can eyeball amounts and end up with a finished product that I’m happy with. I also make a lot of recipes from other people, which has really bolstered my confidence in the kitchen.

But actually having to write down amounts for every ingredient? Remembering to look at the clock and time how long each step takes? Focusing on all the little details that make it easy to follow a well written recipe? This is a whole new world, of which I am  just now learning how to speak the language. I’ve already done a pasta sauce, so when I sat down and tried to decide what new recipe I wanted to create, I decided to stick with another foundation: soup!

Anyone can make soup from scratch, without following a recipe. Even people who are intimidated by cooking can come up with a basic soup recipe that tastes good! All you need is some veggies, some broth, something hearty and filling, and lots of flavor from spices, salt, pepper, and acid. Boom. My favorite soups are comforting and filling, chock full of things that will leave my body feeling nourished and loved. Do you get that feeling from soup too? That you’re being enveloped in a nice warm hug? There’s nothing better than that! I love a nice, fresh, brothy soup, but I’m someone who will just get hungry an hour after eating it for a meal. If I’m going to make a soup fit for a meal, I need it to have some real substance that will cling to my bones and keep me warm and full for the rest of the day.

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That’s how this soup was born: I took one look at the Yukon Gold potatoes at the grocery store and immediately found myself dreaming of a potato soup that I could bring to work with me and eat for lunch throughout the week. But if I was going to eat soup for lunch it needed to be filling: I’m on my feet all day chasing around four-year-olds. I barely have time to drink my tea in the morning at work, so I’m definitely not able to snack throughout the day! My lunches need to leave me feeling full but energized. Then I saw this recipe for Senate Bean Soup from Kathy over at Happy Healthy Life and knew that I needed to add some white beans to my recipe for a solid dose of protein and fiber. And just like that, my Comforting White Bean Potato Soup was born!

This soup is fresh, comforting, and filling! The celery, arugula, and fresh herbs add a nice pop of green and the potatoes and cashew cream give this soup a luscious velvety texture. It’s like the best of both worlds!

There are three components to this soup, but when you make them in the right order it’s really not that complicated and doesn’t take that long.

  1. Soak the cashews overnight, which will make them blend up smoother. If you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec you don’t necessarily have to soak them but it’s supposed to help with absorption so it’s up to you!
  2. Roast the potatoes
  3. While potatoes are roasting, make the rest of the soup
  4. When the roasted potatoes are done, add them to a blender with the other cashew cream ingredients
  5. Add the roasted potato cashew cream to the rest of the soup right at the end

And then you get this…

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Sound good?

INGREDIENTS:
Roasted Potatoes: 
1/2 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed (approximately 1-inch cubes)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Soup: 
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
2 ribs of celery (approximately 3/4 cup), diced
2 carrots (approximately 3/4 cup), diced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
2 teaspoons sea salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed (approximately 1-inch cubes)
3 large sprigs of fresh thyme, or to taste
2 15-ounce cans of Great Northern beans
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 large handfuls of arugula
Roasted Potato Cashew Cream:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water + drained
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup roasted Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
Salt and pepper to taste
Toppings:
Fresh thyme
Fresh parsley
Cracked pepper

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  1. Make the roasted potatoes: preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the coconut oil, potatoes, salt, and pepper and mix until combined. Spread out in one layer on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown. Use a spatula to move them around a bit and then roast for 15 more minutes until evenly crispy.
  2. Make the soup: While the potatoes are roasting in the oven, start the soup. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat with coconut oil. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of sea salt and cook for approximately 6 minutes until the onion is soft, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the carrots and celery and mix to combine. Then stir in salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth, potatoes, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Make the Roasted Potato Cashew Cream: Once the potatoes are roasted and out of the oven, add them to a high speed blender with the cashews, vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy!
  6. Once the soup has been simmering and the potatoes are fork tender, whisk in the cashew cream. Whisk gently to incorporate, but try not to break up too much of the potato. Add the beans, white wine vinegar, and arugula, and stir until combined. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until you’re ready to eat!
  7. Top with fresh parsley, fresh thyme, and cracked pepper. Enjoy!

NOTES:

*Nutritional yeast is the only “unusual” ingredient in this soup, so I understand if it freaks you out! Keep in mind that it’s not freaky hippie food, and that you can actually now find it at Trader Joe’s for a really accessible price. It adds a rich, cheesy, umami flavor and it works really well in this recipe. With that being said, this will still be a delicious soup without it!

This soup will thicken just a little bit in the fridge and will resemble more of a stew the next day. If you want to thin it out, add a bit of vegetable broth to the soup to reconstitute it before you reheat.

Love, Brenna

 

 

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