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Golden Potato Soup for the Sensitive Soul

Gluten free dairy free vegan potato soup
A lovely creamy potato soup- gluten and dairy free.

When I want a recipe for comfort food I reach for potatoes first. And when I need a soup recipe in a hurry, this creamy potato comfort always hits the spot.

Decades ago (yes, decades- how scary is that?) while I was still in art school, living in my boxy white washed one-bedroom off Dupont Circle, I would make potato soup in a blender (no crankin' Cuisinart or snappy immersion wands back then) and serve it chilled in Asian blue and white bowls (Pier One Imports, 99 cents apiece) with a sprinkle of bright green chives. Art student friends would scrape their bowls clean and ask for more. And I would gladly oblige. (They were easily impressed, because they were, well, not exactly starving, but used to living on instant ramen noodles, pizza and beer.)

The thing is- what's not to love about potatoes and butter and cream? How can you go wrong? In fact, when you can cook with butter and cream, you're bound to stumble upon something that tastes pretty darn good. Notice I'm not mentioning gluten. That's only because there's no gluten in this potato soup (I never thickened mine with flour). And then, Dear Reader, there's cheese. If you can cook with cheese, you can kick up any recipe's taste without breaking a sweat.

But what if you can't? Cook with butter, cream and cheese, that is.

Welcome to the world of those of us living not only gluten-free, but dairy-free. Call us GF/CF if you like (for gluten-free/casein-free). The truth is- 50% of celiacs are allergic to milk proteins. Did you know that? Half of celiacs need to be not only gluten-free, but casein-free as well. [This is not a lactose issue; this an immune response issue; if you react to dairy, don't assume it's a lactose problem, get a food allergy blood test.]

Many additional sensitive souls (celiac or not) react neurologically to the proteins in gluten and dairy- proteins that have an addictive, opioid effect on the brain chemistry of those of us who may not be exactly neurotypical. (I, for one, have noticed a positive change in my overall sense of well being since going dairy-free last June; after living gluten-free for over five years, going GF/CF nudged me to a deeper level of healing and managing my usual ups and downs in mood, energy and focus.)

Which brings me back to soup.

How can I recreate my favorite potato soup without butter and cream?

With some New Mexican inspired flavors, of course.

Dairy free potato soup for the sensitive soul
You won't miss cream or butter in this delicious vegan soup- promise.

Golden Potato Soup Recipe for the Sensitive Soul

Those of us living without gluten and dairy can have our creamy soup and eat it too. This vegan potato potage is smooth and velvety without butter and cream. And it's kicked up with a touch of roasted green chiles. Maybe we can't cook with butter and cream, Babycakes. But we can still eat well.


A splash of olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
4-5 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, diced
Light broth or fresh water, as needed
1 cup plain coconut milk, nut, rice or soy milk, as needed
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Tiny dash of ground nutmeg- not too much
1/2 cup roasted green chiles, chopped (fun to mix with roasted red peppers)


Heat a splash of olive in a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes or so, till softened and translucent. Add the potatoes. Pour enough light broth in the pot to cover the potatoes.

Cover the pot and bring to a high simmer; cook the potatoes until fork tender. Add the coconut/rice/soy milk. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, whip the soup until smooth (or carefully puree in batches in a tightly covered blender). Season with sea salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Add in the chopped green chiles. Return to heat and gently warm through.

If the soup needs thinning, add a bit more non-dairy milk; stir; heat through gently.

Warm up some chopped roasted chile and red peppers; serve bowls of soup with a spoonful of chopped peppers in the center.

Other options:

  • Top with a garnish of additional chopped chiles
  • Omit chiles for a simple, kid-friendly soup
  • Add chopped fresh parsley instead of nutmeg
  • Top with snipped chives or spring onions

Serves 4.

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  1. Karina, oh yum. I was thinking as I was reading that it was one of your older recipes, and I thought I couldn't have it. I will try it tomorrow. Thanks, Dee

  2. Mary Frances14:15

    Yummy. This will definitely by on my list of quick meals to serve during the ever-nearing tax season.

    Can I just roast some Poblano chiles under the broiler? I imagine that would taste better than something out of a can.

  3. Sounds delish and fills all current dietary requirements - yay! Do you think you could also use coconut milk? (You have inspired with this ingredient in other soups with great results!)

  4. Hi Dee! Nice to see you. Glad you can do this recipe. ;)

    Mary Frances- Tax season. Paperwork. Ugh. And yes- why not roast your own chiles? Yum.

    Hey K- Cool. And coconut milk? Yum. Sounds like a Thai recipe. Why not? I'd use a dash of curry, and Thai basil or cilantro. Maybe even a squeeze of lime at the end, to freshen the taste.

    Let me know how it turns out. :)


  5. Potato soup is my very favorite soup. I usually leave it chunky but this looks really good. It's going to get very cold where I live this week. I may have to add it to my menu this week!

  6. Hi Gluti Girl- Thanks! The soup benefits from being pureed- it thickens it. If you wanted to still use rice milk *and* keep the potatoes more chunky, you could add a slurry of broth and sweet rice flour to help thicken it.



  7. I really love potatoe soup, I usually make it with leek in stead of onion, I'll try it your way this week.
    Greetings Nicole

  8. WOOO Potato Soup!!
    This is something I haven't even thought of since going dairy free. This sounds delish and pretty simple to toss in some crumbled bacon as a topping for the non-veggers in the house. LOL-recipes that make it easy to accommodate others always make me happy. Thanks sweets!

  9. I could eat New Mexican flavors every night of the week. Right now I am in bed snuggling with my six month old trying to keep my feet warm. This soup warms the soul just looking at it. I will have to make this soon. Thanks Karina!

  10. Looks great!! Butter and cream..yum! I am going off dairy myself for a couple of weeks to see if I have some improvement...right now I am seeing it as short term since I cannot imagine a life without cheese. We'll see!! :)

    Thank goodness for your lovely attitude, makes it all seem so do-able!

    oxox SM

  11. Yummy, sounds like something I would make! I've been craving soups lately and more of it since it's been really cold so maybe I'll try this soon!

  12. Hi Nicole- Leeks = yummy, too.

    Healthyfishies- My husband thought crumbled bacon might be a good idea, too. ;)

    Natalie- You and me both, Sistah. Anything with roasted chiles = favorite.

    SM- Thanks, Dear Heart. Hope you're staying warm and cozy in the Northeast. xoxo

    Hiya San Francisco Photos- Thanks for stoppping by. :)


  13. We're having some tough times of our own and a comforting soup for sensitive souls is just the thing we need right now.

    On a side note, I spent a summer in an efficiency apartment (with a room-mate, making it even smaller!) off Dupont Circle when I was in graduate school studying art history. I have such fond memories of those days, in a way, more fond now then the actual experience, truthfully, but I loved D.C. and the artsy scene. I was a research assistant at The Phillips Collection, sigh. Seems a lifetime ago.

    Now to savor the soup in a non-dairy version and I think the Prince will love it!


  14. I made this with a third cup of coconut milk instead of rice milk (that is what I had on hand) and the outcome was heavenly. My husband and daughter absolutely loved it too. Thanks for your great recipes!

  15. Katherine! You were in DC, too? I went to Corcoran. Where were you studying? Art history- very cool. Washington is a fun town. I loved living there. We used to hang at the Childe Harold- is it still there- I wonder?

    Hi Tina! Yum- sounds divine with coconut milk. Glad you liked it. And thanks!


  16. Anonymous16:47


    I love you. I found you only 2 weeks ago. Now whenever I am stumped about "what to cook" I come here first, and leave, exhilarated. Thank you so much for given us GFCF folks, reason to hope for a good meal after all!

  17. Bridget19:54

    Hi Karina,
    this soup was amazing! My boys (two and four) are very picky eaters, but when I gave this to them they each ate three bowls of it! I just left out the chiles for them, but put a lot in mine. So tasty! Thank for all your incredible recipes and such a beautiful, positive outlook on life!

  18. I am so excited. I can think of no better use for the last of the Yukon Gold potatoes I just dug up from the garden yesterday. Being part of that GF/CF+ 50% I so appreciate all the work you do to come up with recipes the rest of us can count on. I loved to cook and create before diagnosis it came naturally to me, but after diagnosis I really struggled. Thanks for bringing the joy back to cooking.

  19. Karina,
    I don't know how to thank you enough for creating a Potato Soup that Both my husband and I can have AND enjoy. My husband was recently diagnosed Celiac, and has dairy sensitivities (which has improved since going gluten free, thankfully.) I have missed my usual comfort foods and feel guilty when I make something for myself that he cannot I am ever so grateful for this recipe, because it sounds Divine!
    thanks for the much needed encouragement, and for Every single bit of work you have put into every recipe you have. :-)

  20. Hi Karina,

    I'm really thankful I found this recipe, mostly because of your comments about the 50% of celiacs having an immune response to casein. I've been trying to figure out what is bothering me, and wonder if this could be it. I've been fiddling around with milk, no milk, goats milk, no lactose for a few months now and haven't found the right combination. I'll have to ask my GI doc about this when I see him soon.

    Quick question about using nut milk in savory recipes like this: With its sweet taste, how would something like almond milk stand up in a potato soup? Can it really be a good substitute for the creaminess and flavor of milk? A friend recommended adding some apple cider vinegar (1 tsp or so) to make it thicken up. Do you find this is necessary? I use almond milk in baking goodies, but haven't tried it in mashed potatoes or other savory main dishes because I'm afraid of it flopping or tasting odd. Help!

  21. Hi there! My husband and I JUST made this soup. I Literally just tasted some from a spoon, and my first reaction was "Oh God Yeah!! ::runs to computer to type comment::" haha! This Soup is WONDERFUL!!! I used Coconut milk, My hubby added 3/4ths cup by accident, and it actually tastes Wonderful, and the texture is perfect for a comfort food. one could even leave some of the potatos out when they go to blend it, and then add after blending the soup, and that would make it have a chunkier texture. WELL DONE!! :-)

  22. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments and potato soup enthusiasm.

    As for the various milks- it's all according to taste. I think coconut milk would be luscious. A clean tasting nut or hemp milk works, but influences the flavor toward nutty. Rice milk is thin- but neutral. Soy milk would also be delicious. xox Karina

  23. I eat a lot of soup since I made the discovery wheat and I were not getting along!! These are great thanks for posting!!

  24. danaprov17:57

    roasted green chilies- from a can? I'm, well, not necessarily chili impaired but perhaps chili-delayed. Thanks!

  25. I love potatoes and they are my go to comfort food but I've never had potato soup. Most likely because of the cream. I'm one of those sensitive souls, gf/cf with a few more f's in there to boot. This soup however is full of foods I can eat. I think it's also your season combo that pulls me in the most. I love roasted green chilies. OK, I'll be having this for lunch today! Thank you Karina!

  26. Anonymous14:09

    I just made this. Yummy! I also added 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 teaspoon rosemary, a whole celery stalk and one whole carrot.