Monday, January 7, 2013

Less Loaded Potato Soup

Who doesn't love a giant baked potato loaded with sour cream, butter and bacon? I can't think of a soul! And then there is loaded potato soup - it has all the fixings just pureed smooth with lots of heavy cream! This comfort food is full of flavor as well as fat and calories!  What is a health conscious, yet potato-loving person to do?!

Enter Cooking Light's recipe for Creamy, Light Potato Soup! This soup has all the flavor of Loaded Potato Soup with much fewer calories and extra nutrition to boot thanks to the roasted cauliflower! There is no butter and no cream, as well! You can add the cheese and bacon crumbles at the end if you so choose....if you want to save on the calories, then leave them off. The soup alone is delicious! Serve with a crusty bread - multi-grain, of course! Enjoy!

1 1/2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped (do not peel)
5 cups chicken broth
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 bay leaf
1 pound cauliflower, cut into florets
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
3/4 cup green onion, chopped, divided
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
4 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Preheat oven to 450F

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, stock, 1/2 tsp salt and bay leaf; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.

While potatoes simmer, combine remaining 1 Tbl oil, cauliflower, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray or lined with foil; toss to coat. Roast at 450F for 30 minutes or until browned, turning ocne.

Place cauliflower mixture and milk in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening (to avoid slpatters). Blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower mixture into a large bowl. Add half of potato mixture to blender; pulse 5 to 6 times or until coarsely chopped (when potatoes get over blended, they become sticky and gummy- not a very nice texture for soup! So, please just pulse and leave soup slightly chunky). Pour into bowl with cauliflower mixture. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Place cauliflower-potato mixture in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in remaining 1/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 cup green onions and light sour cream; stir until sour cream melts. Ladle soup into bowls. Top evenly with remaining green onions and cheese and bacon, if using. 

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