Loaded Baked “Potato” Soup

potato-soup

If you’re missing the creamy goodness of baked potato soup, look no further; this hits the spot! This soup looks and tastes just like the real thing, but healthier. Kids and picky eaters devour it, and it is a clever way to get a veggie into the diet. And, they even go back for seconds!

Ingredients:

1 medium onion (about 2 ½ cups)
2 small stalks celery (about ½ cup)
1-2 cloves garlic
3-4 tablespoons organic butter, or to taste (divided)
4 pieces turkey bacon
1 medium head of cauliflower (about 1 ½ pounds after cutting into florets)
2 (32oz) boxes chicken broth (sugar and yeast free) – divided
1 piece kombu, ground or whole (optional, no taste) Sea vegetable, packed with essential minerals
3 pieces astragalus (optional, no taste) a root that strengthens immune system
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1-2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, optional – for garnish
3-4 green onions, for garnish

Directions:

Cut onion and celery into a large dice. Place into a bowl and set aside. Roughly chop garlic cloves and set aside in a small dish.

Heat a large soup pan over medium heat and melt 1-tablespoon butter. Add bacon. Flip bacon with tongs to crisp both sides. About 5-7 minutes. While bacon is cooking, cut cauliflower into florets and set aside.

Once bacon is crispy remove from pan, place on a plate in a single layer and set aside. It will continue to get crispier as it cools.

Add rest of butter, onions and celery to the soup pan that you cooked the bacon in. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir ingredients together. This will add delicious flavor to the soup.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.

Add 1- 32oz box (4 cups) chicken broth, kombu and astragalus (if using) and cauliflower to the soup pan. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft when pricked with a fork.

While cauliflower is cooking, slice green onions and bacon into small pieces for garnish. Place each one in a separate bowl.

Once cauliflower is soft, remove astragalus (if you used) and kombu (if you used and did not grind up). Then puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a blender and process in small batches until smooth and return to pan.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot with a sprinkle of green onions, bacon and a dollop of sour cream, if so desired.

Store soup in a glass Pyrex container in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days or freeze. Use extra broth to thin out when re-heating soup. It thickens up once chilled.

Quick notes:

This soup is Kaufmann 1 friendly. Depending on the size of the cauliflower head, adjust salt and pepper. But remember, the bacon adds saltiness, too. If it’s thicker than you wish (this can happen due to a larger cauliflower head), thin out to desired consistency with extra broth.

Turkey bacon is lower in fat, so it has a hard time getting crispy. Adding butter solves this problem, and your turkey bacon crisps up beautifully! If using real bacon, you probably don’t need the added butter.

This soup freezes great!

You can find kombu in the Asian section at most health food stores. You can grind the kombu in a nut and spice grinder and leave in the soup, or just put a piece in and take it out before pureeing. Astragalus root looks like a tongue suppressor and can be found at some health food stores and online. Kombu and astragalus are both powerhouses for your immune system and an easy way to add nutrition to your diet.

Immersion blenders (stick blender) are a must have for your kitchen! It makes this soup quick and easy. They are inexpensive and are great for soups, smoothie and sauces. You can find them at Bed Bath and Beyond or almost anywhere these days.

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