Creamy Baked Potato Soup {Healthy + Easy}

Creamy Baked Potato Soup

It continues to be so cold this winter. SO cold. And nothing beats the cold like warm comfort food – especially when it is healthy and easy!

My friend NB wanted to cook with me one day in January and I asked her to pick the menu. “Pizza and soup?” Done. The simplest recipes turned out so well that night. I am still thinking about them!

Pizza and soup paired well together in practice, because while the pizza dough was rising, we had the perfect amount of time to prep the pizza toppings (pesto and poached chicken breast, with mozzarella and a dash of red pepper flakes), and make the soup.

I narrowed down some options for NB and asked if she would rather make a loaded baked potato soup, or a carrot-apple-ginger soup. She picked potato. {Which turned out to be an excellent choice in itself; I also made the carrot soup at a different time, and the recipe was missing something(s).}

Creamy Baked Potato Soup-3

I have always loved the idea of “Loaded Baked Potato Soup” but generally when this notion presents itself, it’s on the menu at an Irish pub and there is no way the recipe is not under 500g of fat and 4K mg sodium. The description always starts with a “cheesy” base {is that a legit thing? a cheese-based soup?}, and given my lukewarm feelings on cheese, coupled with my arteries audibly whimpering at the thought of other lurking cream, I shy away from it.

But, believe it or not, this recipe is light and healthy – the “creamy” part derives from the texture of the potatoes that have been mashed into the soup. You can top it however you would like. Sure, bacon and cheese if that’s your thing, or maybe some roasted veggies, like broccoli, and mushrooms. I would venture that anything you would enjoy on a baked potato would be delicious swirled into this soup. Here are some ideas to help you get creative! A Southwest or Italian flare sounds good to me. But for a classic loaded potato, a few swipes of shredded cheddar + a half {er… or whole} piece of crumbled bacon + a few slices from a green onion sliced thinly = perfect.

Creamy Baked Potato Soup - sq

Creamy Baked Potato Soup {Healthy + Easy}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6 bowls
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lb red potatoes
  • 2 t extra virgin olive oil
  • .5 c sweet onion (chop; measure when chopped)
  • 1.25 c fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1.5 T flour
  • 2 c skim milk (plus a few additional Tablespoons for thinning, if necessary)
  • .25 c 2% Greek yogurt
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

  • Toppings {crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, sliced green onions, roasted broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, etc.}
Instructions
  1. Scrub potatoes and pierce with a fork in a few places. Microwave for 10-12 minutes or until tender. {You can also bake them in the oven if you prefer.} Cut in half and set aside to cool a bit.
  2. While the potatoes are in the microwave, heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the oil.
  3. When the oil has heated, swirl it around the bottom of the pot to cover, and add the onion. Sautee until the onion is soft (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Add the broth.
  5. In a 2-cup measuring cup (like a glass pyrex), add the flour and .5 cup milk. Stir to break up the flour as much as you can, and add that mixture to the broth and onions. Then add the additional 1.5 cups milk to the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil and stir often - you don't want the milk to scorch on the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few minutes (like 3), and remove from heat. Stir in the Greek yogurt and salt and pepper.
  7. Back to the potatoes. Pull or cut off the skins and discard them. Mash the potatoes in a bowl and add a bit of skim milk to help make them smoother and thinner. When you have the consistency of soft mashed potatoes, add them to the soup, and mix well. Reheat over medium heat if it has cooled too much for your liking, but it should be ready to eat - once you add your toppings of course!
Notes
The toppings make this soup a meal! You might want to co-opt a friend to prep the toppings while you work on the soup, or prepare them the day before.

If you prep the baked potatoes in advance, this recipe can easily be made in under 30 minutes.

 

Adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/loaded-potato-soup-0

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