Tis the season for potatoes and soup. When the temperature drops, I love eating a big bowl of something steaming, that will keep me full and warm, without spending a lot of money.

Soup is such a great go-to eats when you can stand it, because its easy to make a huge batch and then heat some up when you are hungry, in a pinch for dinner or just craving soup.

What also is helpful with making a large batch of soup is the storage. Soups can easily be frozen and unfrozen, and it will keep your electric bill down.

Not what you thought I was going to say, huh? Really, freezing and storing a lot of food will keep your electric bill low, and will waste less of our finite resources.

If you can’t go without a refrigerator and can’t track down (or afford) an energy-saving model or an old-fashion smaller model, filling up the fridge is the ticket.

But instead of going out and buying a lot of food to keep that appliance stocked, just make soup!

First, it will keep your fridge happy because it’s full. By having less room to constantly circulate cold air, the items, once frozen or chilled, will hold the temperature and prevent the constant rotation. This means your refrigerator doesn’t need to be turning its cool jets on and off, and that uses less energy. (Just don’t be standing with the doors open and your head in the ice box.)

Second, it will keep your families happy. When desperate, pull out a large container of pre-made soup, and make some yummy sandwiches or salads to go with the main course. It will fill their bellies up quickly!

Third, it will keep you happy (and sane.) Sometimes, I dream of the dinners I want to make, only to realize I don’t have enough time on my hour break at night; or a house caught on fire, the phone is ringing off the hook and our nightly paper strategy has been ruined, all at 7 p.m. — right before break. I know many people have similar days sometimes, only to have their dreams crushed about their marvelous dinner. Go with the soup! You made it in the first place because you liked it, so eat it again!

Fourth, soup saves you money in the long run. Yes, sometimes all those veggies can be expensive, but if you buy what is in season, just adding some simple water to those veggies and a bit a spice can make a delicious dinner. There is usually plenty of leftovers from one batch (even though it’s easy to double or triple and just store.)

I love soups for all the reasons above, and it just brings a smile to my face to share this recipe with you.

I found it a year ago, when I was still dairy-free but not vegan. I was looking for an easy potato soup that didn’t have dairy. I found the simple recipe and improvised:

Baked Potato Soup

4-5 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)

2/3 cup all purpose flour

6 cups of soy milk (plain, non-vanilla or it will taste funny)

3/4 cup vegan cheese, your favorite

Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

1 cup vegan sour cream

1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1. Cook potatoes how you would to prepare them mashed, except mash them dry (without milk, butter or any other ingredients.) I found purely baking them doesn’t do the job right, so boil/steam away!

2. Lightly spoon the flour in a large Dutch oven or pot; gradually add the soy milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, vegan cheese, salt and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Turn the heat to low. Stir in the vegan sour cream and the green onions. Cook for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated—DO NOT BOIL.

Toppings:

Slices of fake bacon, cooked and crumbled

Green onions, chopped

Vegan cheese

Vegan Sour cream with chives

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