Monday, September 22, 2014

VeganMoFo Day 22 - Potato Broccoli Soup

Ah, vacation! We've been out all day and only an hour to go before dinner. What to make that's quick and filling? How about this soup from the January 2009 newsletter:

Potato and Broccoli Soup

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  2-3

2 cups frozen hash brown potato chunks
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1  15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups small broccoli florets 

Place the potatoes and broth in a large pot.  Cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Place in a blender jar with all the remaining ingredients except the broccoli.  Blend until smooth.  Return to pan, add the broccoli and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Hints:  Fresh potatoes that have been peeled and cut into chunks may also be used, but since I usually have the frozen chunks in my freezer, I saved time by using those.  Frozen broccoli florets may also be used in place of the fresh broccoli.

Perfect! I always have hash browns and broccoli in in the freezer, cans of beans and boxes of broth in the pantry, and nooch in the refrigerator. I use a full box of broth plus around a cup of water, a full bag of both hash browns and broccoli

Toss it all in, let it heat up, take an immersion blender to it, and serve with a loaf of whole grain bread. We each had a big bowl followed by a bit more and there's still enough for each of us to have a bowl for lunch tomorrow.

Sometimes, especially if I use shredded hash browns instead of diced and chopped broccoli instead of any larger size, I don't even blend it, just serve it as you see in the photo. Tastes just as good either way.

We spend most vacation days at home, with day trips, doctor visits, laundromat and shopping excursions, or just hours in front of the television as our great plans. Today was one of only 2 this vacation we had any plans to be out until early evening so I had planned on this quick soup. The other day we'll be out late we plan on having Chinese take-out, with my husband and I getting brown rice and loads of steamed veggies, like Chef AJ mentions in her weight-loss video. 

But when planning the menus for this week I started thinking of how I could probably make some meals in my pressure cooker. I hardly ever use the thing as a PC but do use the nice big heavy pot for big batches of soups, stews and Jeff Novick's SNAP recipes. I really hate fiddling with that thing, and man, it's heavy! Carrying it across the kitchen from the stove to the sink counts as one of my weight training sessions, I swear! 

My husband knows I would use it more if it was lighter. Well, stove-top pressure cookers will never come down in weight because of the necessity of having heavy steel pots that can withstand the pressure, but I noticed in this episode of the Chef and the Dietitian show 

that Julianna Hever so so enthralled with the Instant Pot once she saw that the inner pot with the food was removable and so easy to clean. And it hit me - that's what I'm looking for, something easy to clean! I need an electric pressure cooker, too!

In an earlier video, Chef AJ and Julianna are talking about the electric pressure cooker, and Chef AJ mentions how she bought hers (A Cuisinart at the time) at Costco for something like $59.

Listen for it at the 49 second mark. One of our stops today was to a store that sells the same electric Cuisinart Chef AJ had, but after looking at the pan with the non-stick lining I decided to wait for an Instant Pot because of its stainless steel pan. 

Of course, I still have to convince my husband that I need it.

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