Healthy Creamy Potato Soup à la Courtney

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I love cooking soup. Out of all the new recipes I've tried since getting married, soups always rank highest on my list. Soups are easy to make, easy to customize, and there's pretty much nothing you can do to screw them up (short of accidentally cutting your finger off into the pot or substituting arsenic for milk).

Clay's been asking me to try my hand at homemade potato soup for years and last night I finally gave in and decided to make him happy. It's not that I didn't want to make potato soup; I just liked hearing him beg.

I kid, I kid.

I actually never made it before because anytime he and I were craving something "soupy", I would just make our favorites: beef stew or white chili.

Well, Clayton and Courtney P. have a new favorite! And thy name is potato soup.

I loosely based my potato soup on a recipe I found online, but like most cooks, I tailored it to suite Clay's and my specific tastes (less onion, more potato). I chose the base recipe I did because it called for lower fat ingredients, and potato soup has the ability to get hearty and unhealthy really quickly. If I was going to be serving this for dinner for several nights and if I was banking on the fact that we would want seconds each time, I needed to keep it somewhat healthy (and I sure as heck wasn't going to be skimping on the cheese!).


I peeled and diced about 4 cups of potatoes which surprisingly turned out to be only 3.5 medium-sized taters. I added the taters to a Dutch oven with one 32-ounce carton of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of chopped celery and 1/4 cup of diced white onion. I seasoned the soup with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and decided to add my own go-to flavoring that the original recipe didn't require: garlic. It's one of my mom's favorite ingredients to add to her dishes, and it's definitely one of mine, too. I added a tablespoon of minced garlic to the broth and hoped to get a subtle, yet noticeable taste.


While the soup simmered (about 15 minutes), I mixed evaporated milk and cornstarch in a second bowl, but I got distracted by Joey milling around my feet and I totally lost count of how much cornstarch I added. Since I doubled the recipe I was supposed to put in 6 tablespoons, but I think I actually only added 5. However, it was a really good mistake because after reading reviews of the recipe, a lot of people commented that they would use less cornstarch next time.

Another Courtney improvisation: After adding the cornstarch and evaporated milk mixture to the veggies and broth, I realized something was missing and that something was yummy, full-fat cream. I had almost an entire carton of whipping cream left over from the icing I made over weekend, and adding just few tablespoons thickened the soup's broth in the most scrumptious, mouth-watering way possible. It's the first time I've ever assigned the adjective "sexy" to one of my meals because that's exactly what the potato soup had officially become ... sexy.

Once the milk and cream began to bubble slightly, I turned off the stove burner and added the greatest ingredient of them all: CHEESE. While stirring in the required 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, I swear I heard Barry White somewhere off in the distance crooning, "Oh yeah!" Or maybe that was just me, because I was definitely standing over the stove murmuring, "OH YEAH!" to myself and swiveling my hips while I moved the wooden spoon around in the soup. (Cooking is a very special time for me.)


Just a few short minutes later, the soup was piping hot and ready to be served. I garnished the bowls of soup with well, nothing because adding anything on top of potatoes, cream and cheese is like decorating a stack of 100 dollar bills with rusted penniesit's worthless. I suppose in the future I could add a few crumbles of bacon or some chopped green onions, but when you're just going to faceplant into your bowl and start inhaling, onions and bacon are just unnecessary pleasantries.

Clayton loved the soup and as I've mentioned in other blog posts, there is no higher compliment than your husband sighing contentedly and making "Mmmmm!" sounds while he eats his dinner. And when they ask for seconds? It's a home run!


Clay and I were in agreement that the rolls we selected to accompany the soup were ... oddly shaped, to say the least. I said they were shaped like footballs and Clayton said they were shaped like lady parts, ironically things we respectively don't know much about.

Kinda Healthy Potato Soup (doubled)

2-4 cups of peeled, diced potatoes (depending on how chunky you like your soup)
1 32 oz. carton of fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped (or diced) white onion
salt and pepper
heaping table spoon of minced garlic
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 8 oz. cans of fat-free evaporated milk
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Bring potatoes, broth, veggies, seasonings, and garlic to a boil in a medium sauce pan or Dutch oven. Let simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. In the meantime, combine cornstarch and evaporated milk until well mixed. Add milk mixture to broth. Simmer 2-3 minutes more and then add whipping cream. Stir thoroughly. Remove pot from stove and stir in cheese until completely melted.

Enjoy!

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2 comments

  1. Going to have to try this! I actually read on weightwatchers.com yesterday that evaporated milk is a great way to add creaminess to soups without all the unhealthy that comes from cream. :)

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    Replies
    1. Totally agree! I think I've only used evaporated milk once for some baking recipe, but I will definitely use it as a staple in my soups from now on! Let me know how you like the recipe!

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