Happy Vegan MoFo, everybody! As we wend our way toward fall, thoughts turn to comfort foods, root veg, sweater-weather, the crunch of leaves, and a pumpkin-spiced soy latte. It’s not quite chilly enough to think about some of those yet, even in Chicago. So when you aren't sure whether to wear a tank top or a fleece, make potato soup! Served cold, it’s vichyssoise. Here is my make-it-up-as-you-go version, featuring the “holy trinity” of flavor bases (onion, celery, carrot).
7 small-medium potatoes, scrubbed and boiled whole, in enough water to cover
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 med. carrots, finely diced
3 stalks of celery, finely diced
2 small yellow onions, finely diced
2 leeks, white and light green parts, well rinsed and minced
Salt (or onion salt, or salt substitute) to taste
While the potatoes boil in one pot, heat up the olive oil in what will become the soup pot. Add carrot, celery, onion, and leek. Sauté until onions are translucent and all vegetables are soft. If potatoes are not ready yet, add a little water to the veggies to prevent burning. When potatoes yield to a knife with almost no resistance, transfer the potatoes and about half of the potato water to the veggies in the soup pot. Mash with a potato masher and/or blend with an immersion blender (or wait until it's cooler and run it through a traditional blender). The blender pulverizes the potato skin, which otherwise will float around in larger chunks in the soup. If your family is weirded out by potato skin, you could peel the potatoes before boiling, but that is a lot more work, and you should explain to them that the skin’s where the most nutrients and fiber are. Seriously, don’t make me go all Thug Kitchen on them. Eat the skins. After mashing and blending, you probably will want to add more potato water to thin to desired consistency. Add salt to taste. This recipe makes up a bunch (maybe about 4 pints) of delicious golden potato soup. If you eat it cool it’s “vichyssoise,” which in my household growing up we always pronounced vishy-swah and ate wearing sunglasses.