Potatoes are not bad, we make them bad. Loading baked potato with massive amounts of butter, bacon, sour cream and cheese certainly is not healthy, or good for anyone. Mashed potatoes with heavy cream and butter, served with gravy - not healthy at all. Not to mention deep fried french fries and tater tats. Oh but guess how many calories is in one serving of Ore Ida French Fries? Only 120! Wow! This is great! How many grams of fat in the same serving? Oops, can't see - she puts her finger exactly where the fat content on the label is. I'm sure you have seen commercials.
[the picture of potatoes would fit here perfectly, but as of right now I have none, so here is me playing with the set and lighting while the soup was cooking. note to self - photograph potatoes]
But let's go back to the potatoes. Besides their high fiber content (in the skin), potatoes are high in vitamin C, medium potato with the skin provides almost half of daily volume of vitamin C (27 mg). They are a great source of vitamin B6, folate, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and iron. Potatoes are tubers, that means that they store all the vitamins and minerals needed to grow a new potato plant. So eat your potato whole, don't peel them! Yukon Gold or regular red potatoes are great for mashed potatoes right with their skins. And please do baked your potatoes in the oven. Not in microwave. Oh, and buy organic if you can, conventionally grown potatoes have one of the highest pesticide content among all fruit and veggies.
I love potatoes, and I have to say I eat them quite often. Once I became vegan, I became a big fan of the soups, and even creamy soups that I never used to like before. Especially now, with fall in the full "bloom", the temperatures dropping, cool evenings, bowl of hot, hearty soup is what I love to come home to.
So I have two great recipes for healthy, guilt free and almost fat free, very satisfying potato dishes. My Creamy Baked Potato Soup today, and in the next post - Potato, Roots and Cali Mashed - smooth and creamy, without adding dairy, cheese or any type of fat. Perfect side for thanksgiving dinner.
The secret to creaminess of this vegan soup is immersion blender, two different types of potatoes and lentils. Yes, you are reading correctly, to increase nutrition and protein volume, I added about 1/3 cup of uncooked green lentils to the pot. The amount was small enough, that didn't change the taste of the soup, it only added a layer of richness.
Creamy Baked Potato Soup
2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, smashed
4-5 small/medium Yukon gold potatoes with skins, diced - more moist and sweeter
1/3 cup lentils
4 cups of water + veggie bullion paste or 4 cups of veggie broth (or more)
sea/pink/grey salt, black pepper, Hungarian paprika, smoked paprika, Italian herbs, (onion powder and garlic powder optional)
I always taste my soup to make sure it doesn't need more seasoning, especially potato soup can be bland if you don't season it right.
Saute olive oil, onions and garlic on medium high, until onion becomes translucent, add chopped up potatoes and seasoning. Stir it all up. Cook for few minutes without any liquid. Add the water/bullion or broth, and bring it to a boil. The potatoes should be covered by liquids, if not add more liquid. Add lentils, cover, reduce the heat to medium low and let is simmer for about 45 to an hour. (until your baked potatoes are ready)
2 russet/baking potatoes (baked in the oven) - more dry inside, adds another dimension to the soup
Meantime bake russet potatoes in 400 degree oven, for about 45 min to an hour, until fork tender, let them cool slightly before handling.
After about an hour of cooking you should have a great tasting potato stock, peel the baked potatoes and crumble them into the soup. Let that cook together for another 10-15 minutes. Puree the soup with immersion blender, or in batches in your regular blender. Make sure it's pureed well, to get the creamy consistency.
Serve it hot in a mug or bowl, with chives, green onions, maybe a dollop of cashew cream on top. This soup is virtually fat free, except the 2 tsp of olive oil for the whole pot, which is really nothing in comparing with traditional loaded baked potato soup. Enjoy your healthy and cozy dinner!