Potato Soup is the ultimate cold weather comfort food. I woke up this morning freezing and desperately needing a big bowl of potato soup to comfort my soul. The kind of soup a girl from the deep south needs when fall begins to feel like winter. The kind of soup that makes everything feel better. I don’t make potato soup very often because it lacks the nutrient dense punch I get from other soups. The starchy potatoes, milk, and butter tastes so good but leave you with unwanted calories and very few nutrients. A few weeks ago I went on a quest to make all my favorite food nutrient dense. This is one of the recipes I created, and to me, it tastes better than my original recipe with half the calories, half the fat and double the nutrients. You’ve got to try it to believe it.
With nuts, potatoes, leeks, onions, cauliflower, and Greek yogurt, I created a healthy version of my favorite comfort food: potato soup.
The star of this recipe is the cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower. One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. Cauliflower contains antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer, fiber that helps with satiety, weight loss and a healthy digestive tract, choline that is essential for learning and memory as well as many other important nutrients. With all that being said, cauliflower has that nutrient dense punch in which I was searching. For all the health benefits I just listed, it has only 27 calories a cup and no fat. After searching other recipes on the Internet, I saw other cooks had tried this technique so all I had to do was make mine better. And I think I did!Many have tried to mimic the potato taste with cauliflower. I’m sure you’ve heard of cauliflower mashed potatoes on those “low-carb” diets, but this is more than that. I included potatoes because after all, I am making potato soup. But I wanted to add nutritious ingredients to replace half the potatoes, making the soup more than just starch and fat. This recipe goes along with my philosophy of not doing away with the foods you love, but finding a balance and mixing them with nutritious foods to create lifelong recipes that aren’t just temporary. I don’t like to sacrifice taste in any of my recipes, and with this recipe, I don’t think I did. It tastes like roasted potatoes with butter and milk…
A trick to this buttery, milky taste is to use blended nuts. I love how I’ve learned to substitute healthy fats for unhealthy fats. I still use real butter on occasion and oils, too. But when there is a chance to substitute, I do. It’s all about balance.
I chopped a head of cauliflower and a stalk of leeks. There is a process to cutting leeks that I just recently learned on a cooking show. Here it is: Remove the outer skins a couple of layers deep. Slice the leek in fourths lengthwise without removing the root ball. This makes it easier to wash the dirt out from between the leaves. Wash it and slice it very thin like you would a stalk of celery.
Here are the remaining steps in a few pics with captions:
Sauteed onions and the remaining leeks
When the potatoes are boiled and softened, add them to the skillet of sauteed leeks, onion, and garlic.
Blend the boiled cauliflower with the nuts. There should be vegetable broth in the pot with the leeks and the cauliflower. If you let it cook down to where there was no broth left, you may need to add broth or water. There should be at least a cup of broth in the blender.
Another secret ingredient to replace milk or sour cream is Greek yogurt. I love Greek yogurt because it has so many health benefits. For one, if you eat mostly vegetarian food like me, you may find yourself lacking vitamin B12. Greek yogurt helps to close this gap. It also adds more protein, helps me maintain a healthy digestive system, and I believe it helps me with weight loss. You just can’t go wrong with adding Greek yogurt to your diet, and when mixed within a recipe, you cannot tell it from sour cream. I added a heaping 1/2 cup of Fage’ Greek Yogurt to my cauliflower mixture.
In a big pot add this cream to the sauteed onion, leeks, and potatoes. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of white pepper and a heaping teaspoon of salt. You can add a dash of black pepper, a splash of red pepper flakes, some chopped green onions or chives, a few sprigs of parsley, and James even adds a bit of cheese. Do what ever suits your tastes. The basic ingredients are what matters: creamy potato soup made with mostly cauliflower and nuts. That’s why this soup is only half the potato you think it is…
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, diced
- 1 leek, thinly sliced and chopped
- ½ sweet onion, finely diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup vegetable broth (or use the broth from the boiled cauliflower and leek mixture)
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (I like Fage')
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- sprinkle of black pepper
- sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- parsley and green onions (optional)
- Chop the cauliflower into chunks.
- slice the leeks like you would celery but only smaller. Then, chop them.
- In a large stock pot, boil the cauliflower with a handful of leeks with the pot half full of salted water.
- Peel and dice the potatoes into small pieces.
- In a smaller pot, boil the potatoes in salted water until real tender, easily mashed with a fork.
- In a skillet with olive oil, add the onion, garlic, and remaining leeks. Saute' until tender.
- Add the potatoes to the onion mixture in the skillet. Stir and cook on low a little longer and then remove from heat.
- When the cauliflower is cooked, add it to a blender or food processor. Make sure there is enough broth left in the pot to add to this mixture. If not, add another can of vegetable broth.
- Add the nuts and Greek yogurt and blend until creamy.
- In the large stock pot, add the onion and potato mixture from the skillet.
- Stir in the creamy cauliflower mixture from the blender.
- Stir in the salt pepper and other seasonings to your taste.
- Garnish with parsley or chives.
1 head large of cauliflower, 1 cup of chopped leeks, cooked together and blended in the blender until creamy smooth. With Greek yogurt and cashews and a cup of water.
4 large red potatoes, peeled, chopped, boiled until tender
1 cup of raw cashews
1 cup of Greek yogurt
salt, white pepper, black pepper