I really, really like soup. Boyfriend thinks I’m super weird for this, but for me, nothing hits the spot like a perfect bowl of soup. And creamy soups, like chowders- they really get me. If for whatever reason (ahem, like laziness) I don’t bring my lunch to work, I often stop by Safeway and grab a bowl of their baked potato soup. I’m usually not a fan of grocery store deli stuff, but that soup is awesome.
Even so, I’m aware that it comes with a hefty punch of calories, so I took on the challenge of making my own, lighter version!
After scouring the interwebs for techniques for lightening creamy soups, I decided on the cauliflower method. There is no heavy cream, no flour, no cornstarch, yet it’s still thick and creamy. I now consider cauliflower to be a miracle food.
To create the cauliflower base, I simply boiled a head in about 2 cups chicken stock then pureed it together! I know what you’re thinking- doesn’t this affect the taste? Not at all. If I hadn’t known about the cauliflower I never would have guessed, it’s simply just a great thickener!
It keeps great, too. I ate it for lunch for a week! I’m really excited to try the cauliflower method out on other soups!
- 7-10 strips bacon
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ¼ cup diced onion
- ¼ cup diced celery
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 russet potatoes, peeled and rinsed
- 1 head cauliflower, rinsed
- 1½ cups 1% milk
- 1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
- ½ cup low fat sour cream
- 3 tbsp chopped chives, separated
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Evenly dice the peeled russet potatoes into ½ inch x ½ inch cubes. Bring the 2 cups of chicken stock to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for about 7-10 minutes, or until fork tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and set side.
- While the potatoes are boiling, begin cooking the bacon in a skillet until crispy and golden. Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Drain some of the fat off the skillet, but not all of it! Tear the bacon into chunks and set aside.
- In the skillet with the bacon grease, add the garlic, onion, and celery. Cook over medium heat until the veggies have softened and garlic is fragrant. Set aside.
- Chop the florets of the cauliflower off the stalk and remove the leaves. Bring the chicken stock back to a boil and add the cauliflower. Boil for 7-10 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove pot of chicken stock and cauliflower from heat and use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the stock and cauliflower or pour into a blender. Puree until smooth.
- Return the cauliflower/chicken stock mixture to medium-low heat. Add all other ingredients, including ingredients that have been set aside, reserving about ¼ of the bacon and 1 tablespoon of the chives. Heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cheese has melted and it’s heated through.
- Garnish with remaining bacon and chives. Enjoy!