Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Loaded baked "potato" soup

If you've been reading this blog for a while and paying attention, you can probably figure out what I used in this soup instead of potatoes. If you guessed cauliflower, then you are correct! I love cauliflower mashed "fauxtatoes" so I figured that it would work just as well in another preparation that calls for pureed potatoes. I think that this would fool just about anyone, and even if it doesn't, it's still delicious in its own right.

I decided to roast the cauliflower to get more of a "baked" flavor, but if you want to streamline the process, you could certainly boil the florets in the soup broth or even use frozen cauliflower.

I used cream cheese for texture and flavor. It thickened the soup while adding a baked-potato-with-sour-cream sort of tang. It was much lower calorie than using heavy cream and it precluded the use of a starch thickener like a roux. If you prefer to use cultured dairy products (to make the lactose easier to digest), you can substitute labneh. I've seen a lot of vegan "cream cheese" recipes that use raw cashews, so if you want to experiment with a dairy-free version, I think you could try adding raw cashew butter and some lemon juice. For my version, I just used a plain ol' brick of cream cheese.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 lb cauliflower florets
  • 1 Tbs fat of choice (I used melted ghee, bacon fat or olive oil would work well too)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup minced onion (I used frozen chopped onion)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (for dairy-free options, see recipe description)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I used Penzeys 4/S but regular salt would be fine)
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper (black pepper would taste fine but will leave black flecks)
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 tsp which gave it a nice kick. Use 1/8 tsp or leave it out if you are sensitive to spicy food.)
  • Baked potato fixins of choice, such as sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, scallions, and/or crumbled bacon
  1. Adjust oven rack to bottom position and preheat oven to 475.
  2. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, brush or spray with half the butter or oil, spread cauliflower on top, and brush or spray with the remaining fat.
  3. Roast the cauliflower for 10 minutes, stir to turn over, and roast for another 10.
  4. Meanwhile, bring the onion and broth to a boil on the stove. Add the cauliflower, let boil again, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until cauliflower is soft. You want it to be slightly overcooked, but not boiled to death.
  5. Add in the cream cheese, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir until melted. Add the spices.
  6. Puree until completely smooth. I used a stick blender but if you don't have one you could transfer it to a regular blender or even try mashing it well with a potato masher. It will be a bit foamy; let it sit for a minute before serving so that the bubbles die down.
  7. Serve with fixins of choice.


Stormy @Maoomba said...

I spotted your recipe on Chowstalker and made it last night with just a couple of modifications - paprika instead of cayenne, no dairy, a little less broth. It was fantastic! My husband went back for thirds and it was even better for lunch today. Cheers!

Erica said...

So glad you liked it! Did you use anything in place of the dairy? Or just omit??

Erin Aronowitz said...

I tried this recipe tonight. It was delicious! I didn't know how much cauliflower would equal 1lb, so I sort of eyeballed it. No need to really mince the onions since the blender/food processor will just take care of that. I used red pepper flakes instead of cayenne. It came out really great! Thank for the recipe!

Erica said...

Good to hear that you enjoyed it, Erin! It's definitely not an exact science regarding the amount of cauliflower; I think that soup is really hard to mess up ;)

Anonymous said...

Sorry this comment is in the wrong spot but I wanted to ask you about the ketchup you recommend that has no added sugar. How does it taste? Also where do you find cacao nibs, anywhere online? How do you use them? - Anna

Erica said...

Anna, the Westbrae ketchup tastes sort of like a cross between ketchup and tomato paste. It is not candy-sweet like conventional ketchup. I buy my cacao nibs at a local health food store (non-chain).

Debbie said...

Just made this for dinner and it is delicious! I might even be able to convince my picky eater husband to try it.

Thanks for another great recipe!

Erica said...

@Debbie: Glad to hear it!! So far I've had no problem serving it to picky eaters :)

Anonymous said...

Looks delish! And if one can eat dairy, then heavy cream should be a good addition and within the Paleo paradigm.

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