Broccoli and Potato Soup

Since Vegan MoFo began, I’ve been mostly thinking of pastry recipes, because that is my forte. But these last few days, I’ve been really craving a healthy and comforting post for this cold and damp weather that is now here. Of course I thought of soup, and to me, one of the most comforting soups is a creamy, potato and broccoli soup. To make a really good, creamy, vegan broccoli and potato soup, you don’t need any “cream” at all. Just broccoli, potatoes and a few other things – the broccoli and potatoes do a great job in the creamy department.

One of the greatest things about this soup is that it is 100% fat-free. Just because this soup is low-fat, does not mean it’s low in flavor! I use dried herbs for this recipe, and because this soup is cooked low and slow, the dried herbs are rehydrated and give the soup a great flavor. I used a potato masher to mash the broccoli and potatoes into smaller chunks – leaving the soup hearty and chunky. But, if you wish, you can blend it into puree for an absolutely creamy soup. I really like the texture of the potato and broccoli soup this way though. Plus, I like that I basically only have one dish to clean up afterwards.

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Ingredients:
2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable broth
4 pounds (about 8 medium size) Yukon gold potatoes, skinned
2 large bunches of broccoli (approximately 3 1/2 pounds), chopped (stems included)
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Directions: In a large stock pot, boil the skinned potatoes in salted water until soft (about 35-40 minutes). Carefully drain the water from the potatoes. In the same stock pot, mash the potatoes with a masher into medium to small-size chunks. Add the vegetable broth, chopped broccoli, chopped onion, dried herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Then, turn off heat, remove cover and mash the soup once again with the potato masher to blend it together a bit. You can puree it at this point if you’d like to.

Serve this stew with crusty bread, croutons or focaccia. It is delicious topped with a sprinkle of vegan cheese, and/or crumbled tempeh bacon. This dish is perfect for a rainy fall day, and is a great pick-me-up if you’re feeling under-the-weather. It really warms me right up!

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