Thick and Creamy Vegan Potato Soup

It has been a while since I created a new recipe!  Today, it has finally been cool enough to recognize that it is kind of fall here in Ohio.  It isn’t supposed to last long with the high 80’s and even some 90-degree days coming back, but it gave me an excuse to make a small pot of soup. 

Creating this soup took about 45 minutes from start to finish – and that includes chopping the veggies, fiddling with seasoning measurements until I was happy with the results, and running next door to the garden our neighbors have graciously shared with us so that I could snip a stalk of rosemary.  I diced everything very small so that it would cook up quickly.  It shouldn’t take as long to make on a regular basis following the recipe.

This soup has a mild flavor, which is what my hubby prefers, but if you want it even milder, leave out the rosemary and fennel.  (Then it will be a smaller, thicker version of my gigantic recipe of potato soup.)  I like the interesting notes they bring, though. A quick drizzle of good olive oil in each bowl adds a nice touch, but isn’t necessary.

Thick and Creamy Potato Soup

  • 4 c. small-diced red potatoes (I used about 3 sm/med.)
  • 1 onion, diced (I used half of a red one and half of a yellow one, because I had them leftover)
  • 1 sm. carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 c. frozen, chopped spinach
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 c. water
  • ¼ c. cashews
  • 3 T. barley flour
  • 1 tsp onion granules/powder
  • 12 fennel seeds (If you like fennel seeds, throw in a few more! My hubby isn’t fond of them)
  • 2 tsp chicken-style seasoning
  • ¼ tsp dillweed
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary
  • 1 c. unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy)

Bring the first 6 ingredients to a boil in a 3-4 qt. pot, and boil for 5-7 minutes while you ready the remaining ingredients.

Whiz the last 8 ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth.  When the veggies are just tender, stir the blender contents into them, stirring constantly.  Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Serve with a drizzle of flavorful extra-virgin olive oil and some crusty whole grain bread.

Makes 3-4 bowls of soup.

Our Changes For An Even Healthier Life

Things have changed in the Cheerfully Vegan household.  Not everybody is quite as cheerful as before our latest dietary shift.  lol  Changes are hard and it takes determination to see them through, as well as substitutions for the things you are leaving behind.  You see, just because you become vegan does not mean all of your food intake is healthy.  Hmmmm….  As much as I knew this in my head, my sugar consumption was not a healthy thing.  Neither was the consumption of processed fake meat-like and cheese-style products.  When my darling hubby’s testing came back with a high risk of developing heart problems, we sat straight up and took notice.  The heart screening nurse told me that just having dropped animal products from our diet years ago wasn’t the whole answer.  The results from hubby’s tests indicated inflammation, which is caused by sugars, processed foods, and many oils.  Therefore, as a kick in the pants, I rewatched Forks Over Knives.  Together, we watched Eating You Alive.  (If you haven’t seen these 2 documentaries, you are missing out on much information that will amaze you.)

Keep in mind that both of us had seen Forks Over Knives and had helped with local CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) presentations over the years.  We KNEW this stuff.  But sugar called to us, along with all of the rest of it.  After reassessing the situation, we (hubby and I) made the decision to change everything – one more time – and became whole plant-food based in our diet.  (Lifestyle changes are sometimes a gradual shift across time as you become willing to listen to truth and relinquish bad habits.  This was not our first time to the Change Your Diet rodeo.)  One of the unhappiest in this change is probably our 20-yr-old son who still lives with us until his wedding in a few months.  He has not been convinced of the necessity just yet.  I try to remember that a man convinced against his will is unconvinced still.  I keep his favorite non-dairy sweetened milk and sweetened organic whole grain cereal in the house still for him, as well as a few other items.

We learned just how much hidden sugar and oil are in things.  Even non-dairy vanilla soymilk has 2 tsp of sugar in every cup!!!  Yowza!  If I am going to splurge on something sweet, it won’t be milk.  We tried out several different unsweetened kinds – and now we each have our favorite and keep all of them in the frig.

I discovered that even though I thought I was doing a good job feeding my crew healthfully before this change that some of us were “cheating” and eating things away from home that contributed to poor health tests.  (Cough – hubby!)  However, I was no saint, as attested by my weight.

We increased our whole grains and decreased whole flour products.  We already rarely ate white flour things.  We occasionally use maple syrup or other natural sweeteners, including pure stevia (many brands have garbage added), but ditched sugar (corn syrup has been gone for decades.)  We cut nuts at first, as well as other naturally high-fat plant foods, but found our skin was drying out, etc., so we added a few back in.  If we didn’t need to lose weight, these would not be an issue at all to keep in the diet.  We ditched all of the processed foods.  I began making even more things from scratch than I already did.  We kept some fruit-sweetened organic corn flakes, but I make granola, cooked cereal, and museli for breakfast options as my crew doesn’t like a lot of cooked breakfast items.  I make my own bread.  I make our own burger patties and freeze the extras.  I’m learning what works and what doesn’t.  I’m finding new recipes that I consider a success if at least 2 of us like them.

It has been not quite 2 months since we began the shift.  It took probably 3-4 weeks before we became settled in and got rid of the sweetened milks and stopped caving in and buying all-too-often “occasional” treats.  Hubby has lost 10 lbs.  I’ve lost 6-7.  My aches and pains are almost all gone now.  He still has some pain, but walks straighter and groans less than he did.  (He found out just how much he used to hurt when he bought a candy bar one day!!  He had a miserable few days until the inflammation went back down.)  That bloated feeling we both used to have on a regular basis is gone.  Honestly, I feel better than I have in years!  So, although we miss many things, we have decided this is something to maintain.  We hope by a few month’s time to have dropped all of our excess weight and be back to our youthful figures from dating years decades ago.

So, if you notice the recipes that I post from now on are different, this is why.  I am not going to remove the old recipes, because not everyone is ready for a whole plant-food based diet.  They may still want vegan recipes with sugar, oil, and such that I worked hard to create over the years.  I will NOT judge, because we are all at different speeds on the journey to our best health!

Here’s To Your Health!!

The 12 Most Dangerous Pesticide-Ridden Foods from and Paul Dysinger

Though I haven’t had a lot of time to whip up new recipes to share with you, I did take the time to read a blog post today that I feel I simply must share with you.  The information is important – and even more importantly, you may think you know the information on it already like I did…only I learned I was wrong!  Did you know that cucumbers are on the dirty dozen list??  Gasp!  I did not.  How did I miss that?  What else might be on the list that you might have missed?

For more valuable info, please read his blog post here:

Vegan Potluck News!

Last year there was a brand-new phenomenon on the internet ~ a Virtual Vegan Potluck featuring vegan and vegan-friendly food bloggers from around the world.  It was pulled together by Annie over at An Unrefined Vegan and it was quite the undertaking!  Anyone could go to the website of any of the participating blogs and travel through the potluck posts from there.  If you started at the beginning post, you would go from appetizers all the way through desserts.  If you started at a blog somewhere in the middle of the “table,” you might start at salads and wander your way to desserts and then back to the beginning to read the appetizer recipes.  All in all, it was an epic way to get new recipes!  (By the way, you can still go to the first link I posted above and view last May’s recipes.)

Well, Annie is doing it again, bless her heart!  (It’s got to be a lot of work to coordinate.)  I toyed with the idea of joining this time, but wasn’t certain I knew enough about how it all worked (from the blogger’s end) to jump right in.  However, I was just told that someone had to drop out and there is a spot left ~ and I was asked if I wanted to take it at the last minute.  I gulped ~ read about the how-to details ~ and took the plunge!

So, keep your eye out for a new post at midnight on Oct. 31.  Nov. 1 is when it should all be set up around the world.  You’ll be able to visit them all right from my blog!  I look forward to seeing you!