Loaded Vegan Bacon Potato Soup

This creamy soup is the perfect meal for a night in on a chilly day and is sure to leave you warm and full. This soup is also great reheated as a quick and easy meal for lunch, although you might want to sub the bread bowl for an actual bowl and bread slices. 


Spring may be slowly creeping up on us, but that hasn't provided Texas weather with any sort of guidance. I think of Texas as the kind of person wakes up, looks at their calendar or agenda for the week, throws it out the window and then does whatever it wants. This leads to a total bi-polar weather system. In the same week, we can have a day that's rainy and humid, and then another day that's sunny and bright but also terrifyingly cold. Anyways, this all goes to show that you never know what kind of day you're going to wake up to here, so you have to be prepared for everything even down to weather-appropriate food choices. When we get a chilly day, rain or shine, nothing warms me up like a bread bowl full of soup! The recipe is simple, but sometimes the simplest recipes are the most satisfying. This soup is one that I always crave on a dreary day, and it never disappoints. While the shredded cheese and eggplant bacon are optional, they really take the soup up a notch, and I highly recommend adding them. I also prefer this soup with a loaf of sourdough bread but to each their own! If you're serving this as an appetizer or to young children, I'd recommend looking for large sturdy rolls at your local bakery or grocery store. It will make the whole meal much more managable, and you can always refill the bread bowl with more soup if you find the bowl isn't big enough for your desired serving.




Ingredients
Soup
6 cups of cubed potatoes
4 cups of warm water (add more to cover potatoes if necessary)
2 vegan not chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups of nut milk (I used the 25 calories original Cashew milk)
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped parsley optional
2 tbsp crumbled eggplant bacon bits (recipe here) optional
3 tbsp shredded Original Chao Cheese by Fieldroast (or any other vegan cheese of your choice) optional
Bread Bowl
One rounded-top loaf of bread. I usually buy sourdough or whole wheat from Central Market. I cut a circle into the top of the loaf and spoon out enough of the inside to form a bowl. Be careful not to spoon too much out or the soup will leak out of the bowl.

Method
1. In a large pot, whisk together warm water, nut milk, and bouillon cubes until dissolved. Toss in the potatoes and bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high or medium until the water is just simmering for roughly 25-30 or until the potatoes are soft.
2. Turn off heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, wait for the soup to cool slightly before transferring it to your regular blender. Then transfer it back to the pot and warm it up again before proceeding.
3. Stir in garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Separate soup into serving bowls or bread bowl before topping with parsley. vegan bacon and some shredded Chao Cheese.

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