But I'm back, baby. The windows are open and I can preheat the oven without sweating. Definitely a big part of why it's my favorite time of year.
Taking my wifely duties very seriously (ha!) I wanted to experiment with potato soup, which my husband loves. His mom, who is truly a champ at making delicious hot lunches, makes a potato soup that he loves. So I decided to work towards making one myself, and hopefully one that was low in fat — read: guilt-free!
This soup is also very economical, with potatoes running at around $0.69/pound. Throw in some aromatics, bacon slices, milk, and toppings, and you have yourself a hearty lunch or dinner that pairs great with a nice field greens salad with some kind of vinaigrette (I whisked together a fresh balsamic dressing).
This will definitely be entered into the rotation! And since Brad has never been much of a health nut, I take it very seriously when he loves something that is healthy! For any Weight Watcher-ers out there, this soup is 4-5 Points+ per cup, depending on how generous you are with the toppings.
Lowfat Baked Potato Soup (makes about 9 cups)
2 1/2 pounds Russet (baking) potatoes
4 bacon slices
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
3 3/4 cups 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash potatoes and pierce them with a fork. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly. Partially mash potatoes, including skins, with a potato masher, and set aside.
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble and set aside.
Add onion to bacon drippings in pan (or clean pan and use olive oil if that makes you happier — they have the same caloric value but are obviously very different fats...using the bacon fat will provide a lot of flavor). Sauté 5 minutes over medium-high heat or until onion is tender. Add salt, garlic, and bay leaf; sauté 2 minutes. Add potato, milk, pepper, and broth, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Soup should have thickened nicely.
Stir in parsley, if desired. Top individual servings with bacon, green onions (or chives), and cheese. Stores well in the refrigerator — I heated up leftovers on the stove.
Note about the bacon: I used really good salt and pepper bacon from our farmers market. This bacon isn't loaded with as much sodium as some packaged bacons are — therefore I didn't need to add as much salt. Use your discretion on this one and salt to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take any out!
Click here for a printable recipe!