A Celebration of Soup

With sadness, one of my favorite holidays is almost over. January is National Soup Month, and we still can sneak in a tasty bowl or two and celebrate National Soup Day on February 4th. If you are going to partake in soup merriment, a reminder of two things not to do:  do not touch the can-opener (eee-gads, think of allllll that sodium, the preservatives, and nasties you cannot pronounce). Do not go near Whole Foods take-out counter either (soup should not consume your entire next paycheck). Every culture – and most families – have their soup traditions, and next to bread, it’s one of the oldest forms of food. It can be highly nutritious, versatile, cheap, easy, and quick to make, one of the first fast foods, too. Soup gives the dishwasher a break, often requiring not much more than a Dutch oven, a cutting board, and a knife. It can be humble with lentils or rich with lobster. Soup’s on, c’mon and get it!

Soup is also very “green”, and I don’t mean made of spinach, although that makes a fine soup. It can be the tasty, economical, reuse/recycle catch-all for cleaning out your refrigerator, which is what I did soup last night. This is loosely based on a baked potato soup I found at Savour the Senses, but I had leftover cauliflower, which is a perfect low-carb companion to potatoes, as well as roasted broccoli that needed to be used. It turned out decadently creamy and rich – without one drop of cream – and very filling. It’s a great way to sneak a lot of veggies into a meal, and I don’t think Connor detected the mashed cauliflower. You could make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon, but none of us can resist the stuff and a little goes a long way.
Loaded Baked Potato and Veggie Soup
Makes 6 servings

2 yukon gold potatoes and cauliflower to measure 3 pounds in total, cut into chunks
A good drizzle of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2/3 C all-purpose flour
6 C 1% milk
1 C sharp cheddar cheese, divided (Cabots lowfat cheddar is good)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 C low-fat sour cream
Cooked and crumbled bacon to taste (about six slices)
Diced green onions for garnish

Boil the potatoes and cauliflower in a large pot of salted water until soft, about 20 minutes, or if you have a vegetable setting on your microwave, place in a microwave safe bowl and steam until softened. Allow to cool slightly and mash with a potato masher. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium head and add the onions, cooking until tender. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the carrots and celery and sauté until softened. Remove from the pan and wipe the pan clean.

Heat the flour in the Dutch oven over medium heat. Slowly add the milk, whisking until well-blended. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the milk has thickened and has bubbles around the edges of the pan, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the potato-cauliflower mash, the cooked vegetables, 3/4 cup cheese, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir until the cheese is completely melted. **Feel free to add any other vegetables at this point. I finely diced leftover roasted broccoli that complements potatoes nicely.**

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream. If the soup is too thick, add additional milk to get the desired consistency. Return the pan over medium heat and cook until warmed, about 10 minutes, but do not let the soup boil. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Top each bowl with bacon, green onions, and additional cheese and serve.

Printable Recipe

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails