I peeled potatoes during my son’s nap today. It was therapeutic. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you need mind space. As I peeled potatoes, the quiet allowed me to gather all the uncollected, stray thoughts that were floating around my brain. They may have been random, and some of them of absolutely no consequence, but I am convinced they are the kinds of things your mind needs to sort through in order to rest.
Baked Potato Soup isn’t really a summer meal, I’ll admit, but it worked wonderfully with my meal plan this week, and hey, all the vegetables in it grow year-round. Plus if you eat it next to a bunch of parsley in a mason jar, then it feels fresh and vibrant and summery, so there, problem solved.
My baked potato soup recipe has seen a great many changes over the years, and I am really happy with how it has evolved. Compared to most baked potato soups, it has less fat and more vegetables. This is thanks to the steamed cauliflower (a whole head) which is pureed and used as a thickener in place of the unforgivable amount of half n half or heavy cream that usually goes into this soup. I promise, you won’t notice a difference.
If you are cautious about things labeled “healthy” let me reassure you. This still has a whole stick of butter in it (you’re welcome). I said less fat, not fat free.
There are a couple extra steps in this recipe, and yes, you will have to dirty a colander, soup pot and blender, but you get a giant pot of veggie-packed soup as the pay-off. It’s comfort food, minus a couple bazillion calories.
…and if you plan your meal prep during nap time, you can go to your mind palace 😀
- 3 lbs baking or russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 pieces
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour (use rice flour for gluten free diet)
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 quart low sodium chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 cup of either: 2% milk, whole milk, half n half or heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup chopped, fresh parsley
- Cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon for garnish (optional)
- Cover diced potatoes with 2 inches of water and add 1 Tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a fork. About 5-6 minutes. You want them to be tender but not falling apart. Drain potatoes and set aside.
- In the now empty pot add 1 - 2 inches of water. Drop in the cauliflower florets and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to low boil and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain florets and place in a food processor or blender with 3 cups of chicken stock. Puree until smooth (there will still be some texture). Set puree aside.
- In the empty pot melt butter, and sauté celery and onions, with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, over medium heat, stirring frequently until tender, about 13 minutes. Check the celery! If it’s not tender at this stage then you will have crunchy soup, so cook it until it’s soft.
- Add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add cauliflower puree, remaining cup of chicken stock, basil and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes and milk (or heavy cream), sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Once thoroughly heated, serve with cheese and crumbled bacon.