Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup

November 7th, 2011 5:26 pm by Kelly Garbato

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Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup, y u no photogenetic?
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Ever since I first saw the adorably silly “proposal” commercial for Progresso’s Loaded Potato Soup With Bacon

(You know which ad I’m talking about, yes? “What is that?” “That’s a big chunk of potato!” I would embed it, but it doesn’t yet seem to be available on the you tubes. Boo! Hiss! Boo!),

I’ve been craving bacon potato soup like a mofo. Which is funny, ’cause I’ve never had it before – not even in my pre-vegan days. (So many of those processed soups contain milk, to which I’m allergic. Good times!) Anyway, I decided to modify the Creamy Potato -n- Corn “Spowder” recipe I so love, making it creamier and soupier (if that makes any sense), while also adding some vegan bacon …and cheddar cheese!

I know, I know, Progresso’s version doesn’t have cheddar cheese, and this makes the dish so much more unhealthy, but I just couldn’t help myself! Plus I had a brick of cheddar Follow Your Heart that was set to expire, and surely this is a sufficient reason for adding cheese to yet another dish that doesn’t require it? Yes? No? Maybe?

As you can probably imagine, this is one delicious dish! Kind of like liquefied cheddar mashed potatoes, with extra chunks of potatoes and greasy fried bacon for supercalifragilisticexpialidocious goodness. Next time I’ll try the loaded bacon potato soup, minus the cheddar. Hopefully I’ll even one-up Progresso, though that’ll be a hard one to judge since I’ll never taste the competition. (Or does vegan always win? Yeah, that sounds about right!)

Bottoms up!

 
Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 medium white potatoes, divided
2 cups plain soy milk + extra to taste
2 cups water + extra to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons margarine
5 ounces vegan cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 package cheddar Follow Your Heart)
5 ounces vegan bacon (1 package Lightlife Smart Bacon)

Directions

1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Set three aside for later. Cut the other three into quarters. Fill a medium saucepan three quarters full with water; bring to a boil on the stovetop. Toss in the quartered potatoes and cook on medium high for about fifteen minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and, in two batches, process them in a blender or food processor: blend one half of the potatoes, along with one cup of soy milk and one cup of water, until the “batter” is smooth and creamy. Repeat with the second half of the potatoes. Transfer back to the saucepan (or a large mixing bowl) and set aside.

2. While the potatoes are boiling, slice the bacon into small, bite-sized strips. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-hot; once hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the bacon. Cook on medium for approximately ten minutes, or until the strips are brown and crispy, like so:

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Stir frequently to keep them from burning! When done cooking, set aside.

3. Peel the onion and dice it into small bits. In a large soup pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat; once hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook on medium for ten minutes or so, until the onions turn golden brown. Add the potato “batter” and continue to cook on medium.

5. Dice the remaining potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces and set aside.

6. Once the soup has heated up and started to bubble, add the margarine, spices and shredded cheese. Stir constantly so that the cheddar cheese and potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add extra water as needed.

7. Once the cheese has melted, sample the soup; add any extra seasonings to taste. Toss in the rest of the potatoes and the bacon – grease and all! – and continue to cook on medium for about ten minutes, or until the potatoes are tender (to your liking). Serve hot!

Optional: for crispier bacon, you can add it to the soup closer to the end of the cook time – or use some or all of it as a topping!

 
Afterward

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, the leftovers quickly congealed into a pudding-like blob*

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and I couldn’t help but wonder how it would taste on a pizza, mac & cheese styley. (If I continue with this trend, I’m going to have to shoot my own version of P-I-Z-Z-A.) Incredible, I’m sure. What doesn’t taste good spread on a hot piece of freshly baked bread, hmmm?

* Not to worry, a few minutes in the microwave returned the soup to a state of hot, liquid goodness!

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