Potato Soup ♥ Lighter & Healthier with Cauliflower

Potato Soup, all the great taste, lighter and healthier with cauliflower ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Lower-Carb & Lower-Cal. Homemade Comfort Food. Perfect for Cold Weather. Great for Meal Prep. Weeknight Easy. Naturally Gluten Free.
Today's plain-looking but delicious potato soup: It's quick, it's easy but it's also lighter and healthier. It's made from scratch with leftover baked potato and leftover cauliflower puréed in the blender for extra creaminess without cream or sour cream or other high-fat ingredients. Sound good? You bet!

Lighter & Healthier. Lower-Carb & Lower-Cal. Homemade Comfort Food. Perfect for Cold Weather. Great for Meal Prep. Weeknight Easy. Naturally Gluten Free.


The "Best" Potato Soups Are the "Worst" in Nutrition

I knew that my version of Potato Soup would be lighter, lower-calorie and lower-carb than other potato soups but I didn't realize just how much lighter, lower-calorie and lower-carb until I did the math on the number one potato soup recipe according to Google (September 2019). That "best" potato soup will look something like this.

THE SOUP ITSELF adds up to hundreds of calories. With tons of bacon and potato plus sour cream, a bowlful is more than 500 calories! Wow. Weight Watchers, we're talking more than 20 points for a bowl of soup! I don't know about you, but I want to use my points on more than a bowl of soup!

BUT ONCE LOADED UP ON ALL THOSE "LOADED BAKED POTATO" TOPPINGS? More bacon and sour cream plus cheddar cheese? You can easily double the calories. Double Wow.

Now you may be okay with that! No judgment, off you go to find that recipe.But me? I had a few ideas on how to make a lighter, healthier and (dare I say?) tastier potato soup.

Here's How I Make Potato Soup Lighter

BACON I keep a little bacon but cut it into small bits so every spoonful includes some.
POTATOES Of course, it's potato soup! I use a leftover baked potato, keeping the skin and thus all the texture and fiber. Leftover mashed potatoes would work too!
CAULIFLOWER I also use leftover cooked cauliflower! We all know how cauliflower turns one dish after another into something healthier than its original version. It's a chameleon, masquerading as rice, potatoes, even dried beans!
SAUTEED ONION, CARROT & CELERY These vegetables add texture and color to Potato Soup.

But Here's What I Leave Out: They're Just Unnecessary!

NO FLOUR This potato soup is thickened not with the usual flour-based roux but puréed vegetables! I promise, you will not miss the flour.
NO CREAM or SOUR CREAM or CREAM CHEESE or CHEDDAR CHEESE They're just not necessary when you build in "creaminess" by pureeing the potato and cauliflower.
NO HIGH-CALORIE TOPPINGS Again, dollops of more sour cream, grated cheddar and bacon bits are just not necessary. They do look so pretty! I have the idea that if it weren't for Instagram, we'd all be happy with the plain-Jane appearance of my delicious potato soup?!

Resources

DUTCH OVEN This recipe specifies a Dutch oven for cooking the soup (this is the enameled cast iron Dutch oven from Le Creuset that I use, it's a real workhorse). A Dutch oven is really just a large, heavy, thick-bottomed pot so anything similar, whatever you call it (and with or without the pretty enamel colors), will work great.

CAMPFIRE POTATO SOUP Potato Soup is easily something to make over a campfire too, I'd use an enormous cast iron Dutch oven like this one. For easy cooking in the great outdoors, I'd "meal prep" the soup beforehand: cutting up the bacon; chopping the vegetables; pureeing the potato and cauliflower (even adding the Worcestershire to the puree so the bottle doesn't have to be carted along for just a couple of tablespoons). Soooo good, I think this would be, cooked in the outdoors!

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Just updated. First published way back in 2005!

RECIPE for POTATO SOUP

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 8 cups

DUTCH OVEN
2 slices bacon, cut into bits
Enough water to cover the bacon halfway
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
1 rib celery, diced
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup water

BLENDER (purée in 3 batches)
1 large (about 265g) leftover baked potato, skin still on, roughly chopped
3/4 pound (about 345g) steamed or roasted cauliflower, roughly chopped
3 cups water

COMBINE
2 cups whole milk
Potato-Cauliflower mixture
2 tablespoons Worcestershire

TO SERVE
Chopped chive or another fresh herb

DUTCH OVEN Add the bacon and water to a cold Dutch oven, turn heat to medium and let cook until the fat has rendered (flavoring the entire pot) and meat has browned and crisped up (giving obvious bites of bacon); adjust the heat as needed so the bacon doesn't burn; the water will probably cook off, that's fine as long as the bacon is browning.

Add the onion, carrots, celery and salt and let sauté until softening; if there's enough bacon grease in the pan to saute without burning the vegetables, all good, if not, add 1 cup water.

BLENDER Place about a third of the potato and cauliflower and 1 cup water into a blender (just a regular, every-day blender works just fine) and blend until very smooth, two or three minutes. Repeat two more times; for some texture variation in the final soup, process for shorter times; or for an ultra-smooth and silky soup, process these last two batches as much as the first batch.

COMBINE If you haven't added the 1 cup of water to the Dutch oven, add it now. Then stir in 2 cups whole milk and the Potato-Cauliflower mixture, stirring well to create a homogenous soup. Heat the soup just to a boil but don't allow to boil. Taste and adjust the salt. Stir in the Worcestershire and taste again.

TO SERVE Top each bowl with a little fresh chopped chive. Other possibilities include a splash of balsamic vinegar, a small dollop of Greek yogurt or maybe warm croutons.

MAKE-AHEAD Definitely! By using already-cooked potatoes and cauliflower, this Potato Soup is good-to-go straight off the stove. But it can still be made a few hours or a day ahead of time.

LEFTOVERS Definitely! Potato Soup reheats beautifully on the stove and in the microwave. Freezing isn't recommended; neither potatoes nor milky soups freeze well.

ALANNA'S TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
TIMING-WISE It takes a bit for the bacon and vegetables to cook in the Dutch oven, that's why I suggest puréing the potato, cauliflower and water in the blender while those the bacon and vegetables cook in the Dutch oven.
Note to Vegetarians



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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. Sounds great! Linking you to my recipe blog - hope you don't mind.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alanna, just posted this on my blog, can't wait to try it tonight!

    ReplyDelete

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna