Five ingredients and less than an hour will give you a warm soup with rich potato flavor with no cream or dairy in sight.
I puree mine because I like that texture but you could easily cut your potatoes smaller and skip the blender.
- Potatoes – This is one recipe where I purchase Russet potatoes. They fall apart more easily so I usually use all purpose in my stews or Bavarian potato salad. But this recipes it is ok if the potatoes fall apart!
- Shallots or onions – I use shallots as we avoid onions, but either will work. Feel free to increase the amount of onions used.
- Broth – I use purchased chicken broth in this recipe but homemade would be especially good. To make this recipe vegetarian, use vegetable broth. You may need to add more broth (or water) when reheating or if it is too thick after blending.
- Oil – Use whatever you family tolerates – I use avocado or canola
- Raw cashews – this is to thicken the soup You will need a high speed blender to make the cashews creamy.
Make the soup creamy without dairy
I make this soup creamy in two different ways: white beans or raw cashews. Both add substantial nutrients to the soup. The cashew version is slightly richer due to the added fat, but the white bean version adds significant fiber. The white bean version can be less smooth, but in this soup, it is not noticeable because of the slight texture that remains from the potatoes. For the white bean version, click here.
- Soak 1 cup raw cashews in room temperature water overnight (or 5-8 hours).
- Or if you forgot to start soaking in the morning or yesterday, you can bring water to a boil, turn off the water, add the cashews and soak for 30 minutes.
- Or you can boil them for 10-15 minutes. In general the longer you soak them, the softer they become and the smoother your cashew cream.
Drain the cashews (the water may be bitter) and place in a high speed blender container. Add water to cover the cashews, about 1 cup. Blend until smooth.
I have also used almond milk instead of the water. It was wonderful with some added nutrients. Any unsweetened plant based milk should work.
Vegetarian cashew cream can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a few days until you are ready to use it. Or you can freeze it and use when needed.
Garnishes & Flavor variations
Think of this soup as a blank canvas! There are SO many ways you can dress up this soup! Here are a few of my suggestions.
- chives or green onions
- “sour cream” (obviously dairy free!)
Herbs and seasonings
- Thyme – fresh or dried added just before adding potatoes and stock
- Other herbs such as marjoram, oregano, basil
- Spice blends such as Gateway to the North (The Spice House) or lemon pepper
- hot sauce if you like it spicy
- You could add another flavor dimension with spices like smoked paprika or cumin.
I like my potato soup plain, but for many people would like more zip. Let me know what you try in the comments below!!
If you like potato soup with chunks of potato, I suggest after you make the soup ahead. The day you want to serve it, peel and chop a potato or two. Boil in chicken broth. Then add to the soup. Yum! I have done this with soup I have frozen. It thins the defrosted soup as needed.
This soup freezes surprisingly well, even with the white beans or cashew cream added. I usually thaw and heat it in the microwave, then I do not have to monitor it so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
In fact my original recipe was written as twice this recipe. I always make double to freeze!
Dairy Free Potato Soup with Cashew Cream
- high speed blender
- 3 ounces shallots, or onions, chopped approximately 2 medium
- ½ tablespoon oil
- 2 pounds potatoes russets preferred
- 6 cups lower sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked
- 1 cup water approximately
- Soak the raw cashews overnight (or 5-8 hours) in room temperature water. *
- Peel and cut the potatoes into approximately 1-1½ in chunks.
- Saute the shallots in oil in a 4 quart (or larger) soup pot.
- When the shallots are translucent, add the potatoes and the broth. Simmer covered until the potatoes are done, about 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes cook, drain the cashews and add to a high power blender container.
- Cover the cashews with water, about 1 cup.**
- Blend the cashews until smooth. Set aside until you are ready to thicken the soup.
- When the potatoes are thoroughly cooked, puree the soup with an immersion blender, a high speed blender or a regular blender. ***
- Add the cashew cream and heat.
- Serve with desired garnishes and enjoy!
- * Alternatively you can bring water to a boil, turn off the water, add the cashews and soak for 30 minutes. Or you can boil them for 10-15 minutes. In general the longer you soak them, the softer they become and the smoother your cashew cream.
- **Instead of water you can use any unsweetened plant based milk. I have used Simply Almond with good success.
- *** If the soup is hot, I use an immersion blender as I prefer to not transfer hot soup. However the soup may be less smooth with an immersion or regular blender. I actually like it better this way. If using a blender, I try to make the soup a day ahead and puree when cold. I suggest reheating in the microwave to prevent the soup sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- You may need more broth to thin if the soup is too thick after cooling.