Over the summer, a group of researchers from Harvard (don’t they always ruin the fun?) announced the best and worst foods for health and weight loss. At the top were yogurt, nuts, and other foods that we all know by now are healthy. But way at the bottom of the list, worse than soda, was the simple potato. Although it has some nutritional benefits, people who ate potatoes, in any form, were heavier than those who didn’t. I immediately stopped buying my bi-weekly bag of red potatoes. I haven’t cut them entirely out of my diet; it’s nearly impossible to eat out and avoid potatoes anyway. So I figured my potatos-in-moderation regime would be to eat them when I’m out, but to cut them out of my regular cooking.
But as I’ve learned many times over, cutting out anything is likely to lead to cravings. So when it was rainy and cold last week, my mind went to comfort food, or more specifically, loaded baked potato soup. Instead of depriving myself, I faked myself out. Cauliflower is a great potato substitute, and loaded baked potato soup is all about the toppings anyway, right? To have even more taste-bud trickery, cook up some veggie bacon to crumble on top of the soup. It’s a meat and potatoes meal without meat…or potatoes!
Loaded Faked Potato Soup
2 tablespoons butter
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
4 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped if using a large head
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Warm olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add garlic and onions to the pot and saute until soft.
3. Add cauliflower and cook until slightly browned.
4. Pour in milk and add spices, then let simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Using an immersion blender, blend in pot until smooth. If using an stand blender, puree until smooth, then return the soup to the pot.
6. Add greek yogurt and cheese, stirring until melted and combined.
7. Pour into bowls and top with your choice of toppings.
Yield: 2 entree servings, or 4 side dish servings
Some of my favorite toppings: