Vegan Cheesy Smoky Chipotle Potato Cabbage Soup
I had an interesting experience this morning. I tried a new vegan egg product that some people have been raving about. It’s a little out of my wheel house as I try to stay with real, whole food. Food that hasn’t been processed. I believe that a whole food, plant based diet is the optimal diet for us. Any time you start trying to make a whole out of parts (think soy protein isolates which are used in so many processed soy vegan products and are not healthy for us), you have seriously altered food’s relationship to the body.
When I took T. Collin Campbell’s Plant Based Nutrition Certification program, this was the one of the most important thing that I learned. You see, when you start taking food apart, molecularly, the body doesn’t recognize it as food anymore. And it doesn’t respond to it as it would in it’s whole form. So processed food really is the enemy. Even if it is vegan processed food.
Back to the eggs. It would be an understatement if I said I was disappointed. They looked fantastic. Just like scrambled eggs. But the taste…nothing like I remember. Even tossed with beautifully sautéed mushrooms, I found it not to my liking at all. My tastebuds are geared towards real food and all I tasted was fake.
I understand the argument for processed vegan food. They are said to be “transitional” foods for people who are starting on their vegan journey but don’t want to give up their animal based foods. They want chicken substitutions, and meat substitutions, etc. So these products fill a void. Unfortunately, not in a healthy way.
My wish is that people would concentrate on eating real, whole plant based food. The wonderful thing is that the further along you get on your journey, the more you adapt. You no longer miss the heavily salted, heavy processed food. You crave healthy, whole food. When you have an arsenal of good recipes, you don’t need the processed stuff any more.
So you make a cashew cheese sauce. Does it taste like a traditional cheese sauce? No. But it still tastes great. Just in a different way.
Which is how this whole recipe started. I was in the kitchen, making a chipotle cheese spread. I like to have one on hand to satisfy my snacking urges. A couple of crackers with a great cashew cheese spread goes a very long way when you are having a snack attack. I also love to have it on hand to add to potatoes, or pour over other veggies.
At the same time I was making this chipotle cheese spread, I had a huge pot of potato cabbage soup going on the stove. I was so happy with my mushroom miso cleansing soup, I decided to make another version, this time with potatoes and fennel.
The soup was done and tasting delicious. The chipotle spread was done and tasting delicious. And then it happened. I looked at the soup, then back at the spread. Back to the soup and then back to the spread again. I couldn’t resist. I dropped a spoonful of the spread into my bowl of hot soup and oh boy. It was perfection.
So today I am actually bringing you three recipes. The soup, the sauce, and the soup with sauce!
What are your favorite combinations? What are your favorite recipes to keep the snack monster at bay? I would love to hear!
Great Uses for Smokey Cheesy Cashew Spread
- Put it in soup.
- Top baked potatoes with it.
- Use it as a sandwich spread.
- Stir it into veggie noodles for a delicious creamy sauce.
- Spread it on crackers and top with your favorite veggie.
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 1 large head napa cabbage, sliced into 1/2 in slices (you can use regular cabbage)
- 6 medium potatoes, cubed (I used a combination of yellow and red potatoes with skin on)
- 1 bulb fennel, cut in half then sliced (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh veggie bouillon (recipe here) or 2 teaspoons dried vegan bouillon
- Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat.
- Dry sauté the onion and celery. Add a little water if necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add cabbage, potatoes and fennel.
- Cover with water so that all veggies are submerged by 1-inch. Add more water if necessary as soup cooks.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Remove half the soup to blender and blend until smooth or use an immersion blender to blend. Make sure you leave half unblended.
- To serve, ladle into a bowl and stir in 1 spoonful of the chipotle cheese sauce.
Chipotle Cashew Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- 1 lemon, juice from
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup nutritional flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- Place all ingredients in high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.