Saturday, October 12, 2013

vegetarian potato soup

today i'm making potato soup.  it's a recipe that i modified from cara at pearls, handcuffs, and happy hour to make vegetarian so my brother could eat it too.  to give many of my vegetarian dishes that meaty, umami flavor, i add better than bouillon vegetable base.  it is the 'meatiest' flavored vegetable base/broth that i've found.  they also make a no-beef beef flavored base and a no-chicken chicken flavored base.  i prefer to use the vegetable base.  i use it anytime chicken or beef broth is called for in a recipe.  i've had great success using it in risottos, with portobello mushrooms to make cheesesteaks, and in stir fried meals.  (i have not received any special stuff for mentioning better than bouillon... but would love free samples if they want to share!)

i used 42oz of filtered water and about 4 teaspoons of vegetable base... give or take.  it smelled meaty and good.

i've tried to find a balance between cost, organic ingredients, and accessible ingredients.  i don't always have time to order shit online or drive all over the place to get good stuff.  ore ida is a brand i trust, and they add minimal ingredients for preservation.  i'm using an organic cream of mushroom soup for the first time (i tried making this once with an organic cream of cheddar and broccoli - everyone else liked it, i didn't love it).  as for cheese... well, the amount of cheese awesome husband @_antgas and i eat makes it very cost prohibitive to shop all organic and whatnot.  we usually use stop & shop brand cheeses but really... cheese is pasteurized milk, enzymes, salt, and sometimes color.  i'm comfortable enough with their ingredients, even though they are not organic.  and for this recipe, i purchased the onion down the road at a local farmstand.  i've been trying to get as much produce as i can there.  but i have actually used frozen diced onions before with excellent results - and they're very convenient because you can just grab a handful and add them to whatever.

Vegetarian Potato Soup

delicious.  and it reheats rather well - we reheat it in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring regularly.


  • one bag of frozen shredded hash browns (30oz bag)
  • 42oz of vegetable broth (or 3 14oz cans of your chosen broth)
  • 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (or other cream based soup - cream of chicken, cream of cheddar)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese - use a full fat brick (low fat or whipped seem to melt funny for me)
  • 1/2tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • shredded cheddar cheese (a small handful/big pinch to top each bowl)
  • a handful of scallions/green onions, chopped (appx. 1tbsp per bowl)
  • bacon bits to your heart's content (seriously, check the ingredients of most bacon bits - there is NO BACON, NO MEAT in most of them)
BOOM - you're ready to go.  get your shit together and clear a spot on your counter top - remember, most slow cookers get pretty darn hot on the sides, so you want a few inches of space on all sides.  plug it in and set it to low!

  1. dump in your frozen shredded hash browns.
  2. pour in your 42oz of broth.
  3. pour in your condensed cream soup (do not add extra liquid).
  4. dump in that chopped onion.
  5. crack some pepper.
  6. put the top on and leave it the hell alone for 6-7 hours.
    mix it all up good.  cover and leave it alone.  if you're like me, you can peek/sniff/stir a couple of time.
  7. at hour 7, add in the cream cheese.  some people leave it out to get to room temperature before adding.  i cut it into little hunks and drop them in, stirring to combine.  
  8. cook on low for 1 more hour. 
  9. if your cream cheese is not completely combined, taking a whisk to the soup should help combine it.  you want it all mixed in to achieve a nice, smooth, creamy consistency.

    add in the cubed cream cheese.  whisk it up if needed.
  10. put in huge ass bowls; sprinkle with a bit more fresh cracked pepper, some cheddar cheese, scallions, and bacon bits like woah.  some people report adding a dollop of sour cream too.  i hate sour cream, so fuck that.
  11. eat the hell out of the soup because it's really good.

    a bowl full of deliciousness.  that's a bit of extra sharp new york cheddar cheese, scallions, and mccormick bacon bits - vegetarian friendly!
pop any leftovers in a plastic storage thingy and stick it in the fridge.  leftovers are just as yummy.  


  1. We LOVE Better Than Bouillion at work. It's crazy good but RIDICULOUSLY cheap. Definitely more economical (and more shelf-stable) than buying stock all the time!

  2. yes! i love it! i love the flavor that the veggie bases add. it's like meaty without meat. i bought a huge jar on amazon for like $6. it's made like a million ounces of stock (roughly a million).