Like most of the US population, potatoes are one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. And while it's definitely a food associated with North America, it has a much longer history with South America. Cultivation of the potato in South America is thought to be somewhere around 10,000 years ago. North America can thank Peru and Bolivia for this beloved tuber. Thank you, indeed!
Today's recipe pairs Russet potatoes with caramelized onions, garlic, smoked paprika, fresh thyme, a pop of jalapeño, and the savory goodness of fresh chives. It is creamy, hearty, flavorful and warming. And very easy to make! The biggest time suck is caramelizing the onions, but if you get that going while you chop the vegetables for the crockpot, you won't even notice the time has gone by!
For a variation, add some frozen broccoli florets and 1 cup of non-dairy shredded cheese after you've finished pureeing the soup, or stir in a ½ cup non-dairy sour cream and fresh spinach at the end of cooking. Or do both :)
Slow Cooker Potato Soup
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 large baking potatoes, cubed with the skin on
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)
2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme or ¾ tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp smoked paprika
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 jalapeño, sliced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup fresh chives, to top
1. Add onions, olive oil, and a pinch of salt to a skillet. Sauté over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions turn golden brown. Stir around every few minutes. Once the onions are caramelized, add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add to slow cooker.
2. Add everything else listed in the recipe EXCEPT the jalapeno, apple cider vinegar and fresh chives to the slow cooker. Secure the lid, and cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours. Remove the lid, and pull out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs (if you used fresh thyme!). Add jalapeno and apple cider vinegar to soup. Blend soup until completely smooth. Taste, and adjust seasonings (more vinegar? Salt? Smoked paprika?). Top with fresh chives, and serve.