Cream of Roasted Potato Soup with Fennel

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I've been loyal to my grandmother's Cream of Potato soup recipe for years. I feel kinda bad about making this one instead. Mostly, because I like it better.

Although my late g-ma's soup was delicious, it was laden with salt and cream and bacon and butter. Lot's of butter. So much butter, that you could see it floating on top of the pot and had to give the soup a good juooshz (aka stir. I don't know.) before serving so as not to get a ladle full of butter. This soup on the other hand has only a couple drizzles of olive oil, a bit of healthy Earth Balance butter, and LOADS of flavor.

I got the inspiration for this soup from Isa Chandra (not to be confused with Chandra Nicole) She's lived on a Earthfood based diet for 20 years,  has a website called Post Punk Kitchen, has written many cookbooks, and is kind of a Rock Star in the Vegan Community.
She recently moved to Omaha, Nebraska (50 minutes away from me) and rumor has it that she might be opening a Vegan restaurant there. (woot!) I figured I should probably turn to an expert as a launch pad for many of my replacement "creamy" dishes.. since I mostly have no idea what in the hell I'm doing.

This soup pretty much rocked our world. And it was SOUPER simple to make. 
I'm funny.

You will need:

~ Preheat oven to 425

~ Cut 2 lbs potatoes into 1 inch cubes. If you use yukon gold, there is no need to even peel them. I'm not gonna lie, I didn't wash them either... I was probably the kid on the playground eating handfuls of dirt. 
Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with Olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes.

~ Meanwhile, cut the greens off the fennel, cut the bulbs in half long ways, and then cut into thick slices like you might an onion.  Set aside.

This is Fennel, if you're thinking what the frick is a fennel bulb!? like I was only one month ago. I knew what fennel SEEDS were. Oi! so much to learn.

 This is the fennel forest... according to Miss M.

~ After the potatoes have been baking for 15 minutes, add fennel slices to the same baking pan with the potatoes. Roast for 45 more minutes stirring around every 15 minutes.

~When there's 15 minutes baking time left, add to a Dutch Oven one diced red onion2/3 Cup celery, and a drizzle of olive oil. Saute'on stove top over medium heat til tender. Add 1 T. Earth Balance Butter and 1 T whole Wheat flour and stir together to make a rue.

~ Add 2 Cups Almond milk and 2 Cups Vegetable Broth. Simmer to heat through and thicken slightly. Then add roasted potatoes and fennel. 

~ With an immersion blender, cream the soup leaving lots of big chunks o' potato. 

~ Stir in 2 sliced green onions, and 1 T reserved chopped fennel greens.

Mmmmm.... creamy. 

Do you have any recipes from the 'days of ole' that are in desperate need of a healthy make over?

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