In the winter time, soups are one of my comfort food weaknesses. I love having a warm bowl of soup with a big hunk of bread on the side, to thaw me out from the inside out. Even though we have had a strangely warm winter (only one snow storm so far), I still am fully indulging in the classic comfort foods.
I have always enjoyed baked potato soup, but I tend to see it as an indulgence rather than a staple. Usually the soup involves a fair amount of heavy cream and other rich ingredients. I do love me some heavy cream, but I like to save that for dessert. So, when I came across this baked potato soup in a new cook book I recently purchased, I thought it was the perfect balance of healthy, creamy, and satisfaction. The idea of using cauliflower for the creamy part was brilliant! It cuts back on the calories and heavy fats that heavy cream will bring you. But, still yields a thick and satisfying, creamy soup. This makes a lovely soup that will warm your bones on a cold, winter day.
Baked Potato Soup
Yield: about 5-6 servings
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- 16 oz. ( 3 1/2 cups) cauliflower florets
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 6 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- for serving: shredded cheddar cheese and cooked bacon, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Poke the potatoes all over with a fork and place in the preheated oven directly on the rack. Bake for about 1 hour, or until tender when poked with a pairing knife. Remove to a wire rack and let cool. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Discard the skins, and roughly chop the flesh of the potatoes.
Place a steam basket in a large pot and fill with about 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add the cauliflower florets. Cover, and steam for about 5-6 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender when poked with a fork. Remove the steamer basket, drain the pot, then return the cauliflower to the now empty pot.
Set the pot over medium-high heat and stir in the broth, milk and chopped potatoes. Bring to a boil. Using an immersion blender, or very carefully transfer the contents to a blender or food processor, blend until completely smooth.
Stir in the sour cream, half of the chives, salt and pepper to taste into the creamy potato mix. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Remove the soup from the heat. Ladle into serving bowls, and top with the bacon, cheddar cheese, and remaining chives. Serve warm.
Source: The Skinny Taste Cookbook