Not long ago I was strutting about with the perfection of my Best Ham and Potato Soup Ever. Oh how I loved the ham hock that slow cooked with the potatoes, surrounding them in rich, smoky wonderfulness. The tender pieces of ham. The sprinkling of cheese melting into the top. Yup. Then Michael and I decided to be vegan for health reasons. But baby, it’s cold outside! I wants me some comforting potato soup!
The changes: milk–becomes unsweetened almond milk, broth becomes “No Chicken Broth”, butter becomes broth, ham hock becomes Hickory Grill Shaker. Vegan. Fat-free. Yummy.
- 2 -3 TBSP hickory flavoring (I used Hickory Grill Shakers, which also contain salt–add 1 TBSP at a time and taste after to avoid over-salting)
- 6-7 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 5 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
- 1 celery heart, chopped, leaves too
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 quart no-chicken broth or veggie broth
- pepper to taste
- 5 TBSP broth
- 2 TBSP flour (Make this gluten-free by using rice or garbanzo flour, or by using corn starch.)
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or soy or oat milk….)
Place 1 quart of broth in large pot over medium high heat. Mince the garlic, chop the celery, onion and carrots and add them to the pot.
Then chop the potatoes and add them to the pot.
Add hickory flavoring and season with black pepper to taste. Add water or additional broth to cover the ingredients if needed.
Cover and cook for half an hour, then transfer everything to a crock pot. Cook on high for an additional four hours. This is when your house will have that warm and inviting comfort food aroma. Mmmmmmm!
Place 5 TBSP broth in a pan over medium heat.
Whisk in flour until it forms a “roux.” Continue cooking for a minute to cook the “rawness” out of the flour.
Whisk in the almond milk, one cup at a time, and continue whisking until it comes to a boil.
Add milk mixture to the crock pot.
Ladle up a nice big bowl-full and garnish with a bit of nutritional yeast (nice cheesy flavor, thickening) and fresh chopped green onion. Maybe toast a couple pieces of a nice crusty bread. Now there ya go.
A wonderful creamy, smoky, comfort-food-yummy soup.
Both Michael and I were super pleased with how this soup came out. Mr18 gave it an 8 out of 10, with 10 being the potato soup with ham. Like most soups, it’s better and thicker the second day. We had soup and “burgers” tonight–perfect!
We discovered and unexpected bonus while doing dishes. The crock pot essentially wiped clean! When I make the soup with ham, regular skim milk and chicken broth, I have to soak and scrub to get the crock pot clean. This makes me wonder what I’ve been adding to my arteries all these years, and see how a fat free, vegan diet might just clean them all out–just like the studies say!