It's that time once again! The most anticipated day of the month: Reveal Day on The Secret Recipe Club! Click on over HERE to learn more about the Secret Recipe Club.
My assigned blog this month was We Heart Vegan. This was easily my most challenging SRC assignment to date, but that isn't to say it wasn't fun and interesting too! This blog is written by Brittany and Julie, and they have such a wide variety of recipes in their collection. I'm pretty sure I looked at them all :)
In the spirit of the SRC challenge, I wanted to try to re-create an actual vegan dish. Because if you aren't willing to at least try something new and different, then where's all the fun? This is definitely where the challenging part started. Many of the recipes called for ingredients that either I wasn't sure what they were, or I didn't want to buy if it was something that I wouldn't use again.
I finally decided on this potato soup recipe. My love affair with potatoes has been well documented on this blog of mine. I'm fairly sure I've never found a way of preparing them that I haven't liked yet. So I was definitely game for trying out this recipe! And I even took this picture, lest you think that I would cheat :)
The only reason I titled mine (Almost) Vegan is that I did end up using butter that had dairy in it. And, if you follow my blog regularly, then you know that I don't have a well stocked spice cabinet. There seems to be a never ending supply of Italian seasoning in there though, so more often than not, I end up throwing it in, in place of something that I don't have. Yep, that happened here.
So now is the part where everyone is curious what I thought about the vegan dish. This soup was definitely tasty! The 8 yr old declared it "a keeper". I gotta tell ya though, Almond milk smells a little funny at first. I was slightly concerned initially, but it turned out not to be an issue at all once it was cooked. The 3 yr old even drank some plain Almond milk. I wasn't quite as brave ;)
(Almost) Vegan Potato Soup
Recipe from We Heart Vegan
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups almond or rice milk, unsweetened original
9 small russet potatoes, diced (and peeled if you’d like)
2 dried bay leaves (I didn't have these)
1 tsp. white (for less of a color change) or black fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. shallot, diced
1/2 cup chopped garlic chives
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter (I used Smart Balance, which does contain dairy)
1/2 tsp. thyme (I substituted Italian Seasoning)
1/4 tsp. paprika
Roasted red pepper (garnish) (Negative)
Chopped chives (garnish)
Roux: 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond or rice milk, unsweetened original
Bring the broth and milk to a gentle boil and add the diced potatoes and bay leaves. Let this boil for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
In a small skillet heat the Earth Balance butter with the salt, pepper, shallot, chives, paprika and thyme.
Cook this until aromatic and sizzling, about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add the butter and spice mixture to the potatoes and stir to combine. Let this simmer over low-medium heat until the flavors are fully combined, about another 10-12 minutes.
Using an emersion blender, blend the soup until smooth (or as smooth as you’d like it).
In a small skillet (it can be the same skillet you already used) over medium heat add the butter and flour and stir until completely combined. Add in the 1/2 cup milk and, while stirring constantly, cook the roux until thickened.
Add the roux to the soup and stir to combine. The soup will thicken slightly. If you want an extra thick potato soup: double the roux recipe. If the consistency of the potato soup is good without the roux… you don’t need to add it!! Portion the soup into bowl, garnish with the roasted red peppers, chives and a little more pepper and serve.