But, the soup calls for milk or heavy cream plus Velveeta. I love this recipe, but eating healthier means cutting the unhealthy food, even when it is a favorite comfort food. So, I thought I would have to save my mom's cheesy potato soup for special occasions. But then I made a vegan zucchini bisque using cashews to add creaminess. I was skeptical, but the cashews really did make it creamy. Nevertheless, the soup tasted really healthy and was just missing something. With this in mind, I decided to adapt my mom's cheesy potato soup recipe into a healthy version, but to balance the healthy changes while maintaining the original flavor. The cashew cream takes the place of the milk or heavy cream, but this is not a vegan recipe because I kept the Velveeta instead of using a vegan cheese substitute.
The new and improved version of Mom's healthy cheesy potato soup was an absolute success with my husband and kiddos! It will be added back into the regular rotation of soups this fall and winter!
Mom's Healthy Cheesy Potato SoupIngredients
3-4 potatoes, chopped into cubes
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
2 c. water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 t. parsley flakes
2-3 inches Velveeta loaf
1 c. cashews
1 1/2 - 2 c. water
In large soup pot, combine potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, water, and bouillon. Add parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.
In the meantime, boil cashews with water just covering the nuts. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. The cashews will plump up and be ready to be made into cream.
Using a food processor or blender, blend the simmered cashews with water. Use leftover water from boiling. Blend until smooth. Continue adding water until mixture reaches a consistency that is near heavy cream or whole milk. (I used a magic bullet and did this step in batches. In all, I added about 1 1/2 cups of water.) You should end up with about 2 cups of cashew cream/milk.
Add the cashew cream/milk to the vegetables and stir. Add 2-3 inches of a Velveeta loaf. This works best if the cheese is cubed first. Stir until melted.
Variations and Additions
1/2 c. mushrooms
1 c. fresh spinach or kale
1 can sweet corn kernels
I could not tell a difference between using milk, cream, or cashews. And if you're not convinced yet, Mom's Healthy Cheesy Potato Soup has been endorsed by Baby Prez!
*The post "Mom's Healthy Cheesy Potato Soup" originally appeared on HarveyEverAfter.com*