Monday, December 9, 2013

Vegetarian Potato Soup

This is a "Yukon rose" potato, pink on the outside, yellow on the inside.

Potato soup is inexpensive and simple to prepare. Image by LizMarie_AK


My family's recipe for vegetarian potato soup requires few ingredients, is easy to prepare, and offers a low cost-per-serving option for large families or groups.




Good for Vegetarian, Vegan, or Meat-Eating Groups


Remember how many balls of allspice you add
because you want to get them all out later. 
Although this soup does require careful watching to be sure the added dairy ingredients do not scorch, and it does require the chef getting his or her hands a little sticky, this soup does not require any special kitchen ware, and it is made using food items normally found in any retail grocery store. It's a hearty soup that will feed any hungry, vegetarian soul. Though an ovo-lacto recipe, it may be adjusted for vegans. And trust me, your meat eating friends will enjoy it, too.  You can even add a bit of roasted chicken if you prefer your soup with meat.

It may take up to 2 hours to prepare this soup the first time you try it. The following list of ingredients will make enough soup to serve four.




Required Cooking Gear


  • A large (8 - 10 quart) lidded pot
  • A medium (5 - 8 quart) kettle
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A large knife
  • A measuring cup
  • A measuring spoon
  • A cutting board
  • A fork
  • A teaspoon or tablespoon


Required Ingredients


  • 10 large Russet or Idaho potatoes, or 6 small red potatoes
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 can evaporated milk (or soy or almond milk)
  • 1/4 sweet onion
  • 8 - 10 balls of whole allspice
  • 4 large eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 2 cups of flour



Preparing the Stock and Egg Drop Dumplings 





The dough will be very sticky, but very tasty!
There are two separate parts of this recipe that are cooked separately, the potato stock and the dumplings. The most effective use of time is to prepare the stock first, then while the potatoes continue to soften in the hot water, the dumplings can be prepared.


  1. Peel and cube the potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, and quarter the onion.
  2. Place the potato pieces, quartered sweet onion, whole allspice, butter, and salt in the large pot. Add just enough water to cover the potatoes.
  3. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  4. After the potato stock is removed from the heat, the dumplings can be started.
  5. Add flour to the mixing bowl, then the eggs (vegans use egg substitute), and  whisk the eggs into the flour with a fork.
  6. After whisking with the fork  is no longer effective, knead the dough with your knuckles.
  7. Make a soft, sticky, elastic dough. (These types of dumplings are softer and stickier than rivilchas.)
  8. Bring water to a boil in the medium kettle.
  9. Use a spoon to slice off 1/2  teaspoon-sized bits of dough into the boiling water. If the dough is too sticky to release into the boiling water, dip the end of the spoon into the water between drops.
  10. Boil the dumplings for 15 minutes, then drain.
  11. Add the dumplings, pepper, and evaporated milk to the potato stock.
  12. Very slowly bring the soup back to a low boil, carefully watching and stirring so as not to scorch the evaporated milk, then reduce to a low simmer.
  13. Remove the allspice balls before serving (so no one breaks any teeth).



Don't forget to remove the allspice!
Cost Per Person Estimate



The average prices of items vary by location, season, and economic circumstances. The average cost of the listed items adds up to less than $10.00 or $15.00. The highest cost item is the allspice, which can vary greatly if purchased in bulk or in measured amounts from a farmer's market.

Whether adding side dishes to the meal or not, the cost per person for the soup is quite low. Each person eats for approximately $2.50 - $3.75, which leaves room to spare if wishing to add a salad or fresh bread to the meal.



Copyright Amy Lynn Hess. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.
Originally published on Jul 29, 2011 by Amy Lynn Hess.

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