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.

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter Granola

A while ago, Costco carried a delicious, dessert-like chocolate-peanut-butter granola with little pieces of dark chocolate in it. My hubby was a big fan, and I was buying it often. Then they stopped carrying it to bring out the summery chocolate-berry version. Hubby was not happy. He prefers the other kind. The grocery store carries it, but if you think it was a high-end bag of cereal at a warehouse, let me tell you, the price was worse at the grocery store! I told him that I would see if I couldn’t make a version at home instead.

My sister-in-law, Melanie, gave me a recipe a couple of years ago for addictive peanut butter granola. (I don’t know the source of it, so I cannot give credit for it, unfortunately.) Hubby didn’t care all that much for it. I figured it wouldn’t take too much to turn that recipe into a chocolate variation that he would like. Some tweaking and we have a winner! It isn’t as sweet as the packaged version, but I prefer that. If you want, you can add mini chocolate chips, or break up some chocolate bark into your bowl to make it as dessert-y as the bagged version. Or cut up some fresh strawberries into it for decadence that is healthier….or do both! HA! Yum!

As you can see from the picture, it makes nearly a gallon. Believe me, it won’t last long once somebody discovers it can replace dessert!

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter Granola
(Please note that I use as many organic ingredients as possible)

  • 6 c. rolled oats
  • 3/4 c. natural peanut butter
  • 1 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. pure stevia powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder, sifted
  • mini chocolate chips or broken squares of chocolate bark, optional
  • fresh berries, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover a large cookie sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Measure the oats into a large mixing bowl. Put the peanut butter, maple syrup, stevia, vanilla, and salt in a 1 quart mixing bowl, whisking until well blended. Carefully stir the sifted cocoa powder to the peanut butter mixture until evenly distributed. (If you add the cocoa before this step, it becomes a thick mess that requires water to be added just to get things to smooth out. Then it takes longer to bake and is a bit rubbery.) Mix the chocolate mixture into the oats, stirring thoroughly, making sure that all of the oats are coated. I found that a long-tined fork works really well for this.

Spread the coated oats evenly onto the parchment-covered cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir carefully, trying to get the granola from the ends of the cookie sheet into the middle and vice versa. Place back into the oven for 10-15 more minutes, paying close attention to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. (If you place a small piece of the granola from the middle of the cookie sheet on a plate or the countertop and it hardens, then the rest of the granola is done.) Cool cookie sheet on a baking rack until granola is cooled thoroughly. Store in an airtight glass container.

Serve with mini chocolate chips, or chocolate bark, and/or fresh berries and non-dairy milk.