Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stand-by Recipes: Baked Potato Soup

Our ten year anniversary is fast approaching and I find myself thinking back on what has changed and what we've learned.  When we were first married, we almost never had the same recipe twice.  We were constantly trying new recipes, techniques, ideas, and flavors.  Cooking was what we did together while slaving through graduate school.  We could justify the time because we had to eat, right?  It wasn't expensive and was basically a necessity.

Fast forward ten years and we still cook a lot, but not nearly as often do Brent and I cook as a team.  The "dance" is still there and if the opportunity arises we can cook seamlessly together.  Now days, he is usually juggling kids or I've finished most of the prep before he gets home.  Those early years, in retrospect served as my search for my own idea of the "perfect" recipe for various things.  I have landed on several that I rely on now and no longer search for new versions of them consciously.  They are the staple meals that we almost always have ingredients for if there is not a meal plan list for that week. I have decided to record them here in blogland so my kids will have them and so that you might enjoy them too.

The first in this series was my preferred Macaroni and Cheese (which you can read about here).

This time, I want to share a very new favorite: Baked Potato Soup.  We just discovered it a few weeks ago, but have made it twice.  Brent LOVES it and everyone else does too.  It has a tricky secret ingredient that my crew never guessed until I made the "reveal". This is an instance where just last November I thought I'd found my go-to soup recipe, but I think this one is the new champion.

 I found the recipe at Skinnytaste, which is fast becoming my favorite healthy recipes site.  I made a couple changes, but will note what she had as well.  Here is the link to the original too. 

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup
Based off recipe from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 5  Size: 1 cup  Old Points: 4 pts  Points+: 5 pts  (This assumes sour cream as in the original)
Calories: 207.6 • Fat: 7.8 g • Carb: 22.5 g • Fiber: 2.4 g  • Protein: 11.9 g

  • 3-4 small yukon gold, washed and dried  (She used 2 russet potatoes, but I like the flavor more this way)
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup light cream cheese (she used light sour cream), cut into small cubes
  • 10 tbsp reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 tbsp chopped chives, divided
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (you can use turkey bacon if you prefer)

Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 - 5 minutes, until tender. Or if you prefer to use your oven, bakeat 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes.  Chop into small bite size chunks. 

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot. On medium heat, add chicken broth, milk, half of the potatoes and bring to a boil. 

Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add cream cheese (or sour cream), remaining half of the potatoes, half the chives, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until cream cheese is fully melted into the mix.

Remove from heat. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheese, remaining chives, and bacon.

(Note: original pureed all of the potatoes, but I think the chunks of potatoes enhance the taste and texture as well as, perhaps, the trick).


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