Healthier Baked Potato Soup Recipe

Even though it’s spring, we’re experiencing a cold snap and some rain here so I’m in the mood for my favorite cold-weather soup.  It’s the perfect time to share my healthier baked potato soup recipes with you. 

I found the original version of this recipe in Southern Living a few years ago:

1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 (14 1/4 oz.) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth, divided
3 cups peeled, cubed potato (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 (8 oz.) block 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
7 tsp. shredded 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
7 tsp. full cooked bacon pieces
7 tsp. chopped green onions

As you can see, they reduced fat and calories and pumped up the health factor of the usual baked potato soup recipe by adding broccoli and using lower fat ingredients.   I followed the recipe to a “T” for a long time and then started playing with it about a year ago.  The recipe above is excellent and I love it.  But, my husband was asking for food with more veggies and less carbs and I didn’t want to give up my favorite cold-weather soup.

Here’s my version:

1/4 cup all purpose flour
Approx. 3 (14 1/4 oz.) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth, divided
1 1/2 cups peeled, cubed potatos
1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
1/2 cup steamed, pureed cauliflower (optional) **
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/4 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
1 (8 oz.) block 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
7 tsp. shredded 2% reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
7 tsp. uncured Canadian bacon pieces
7 tsp. chopped green onions

Whisk together flour and 1/3 cup chicken broth until smooth.
Combine remaining chicken broth and next 3 ingredients in a Duth oven.
Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Gradually stir in flour mixture.  Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes.
Stir in milk and 8 oz. shredded cheese.
Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese melts.
Top each serving of soup with 1 tsp. cheese, 1 tsp. Candian bacon pieces, and 1 tsp. chopped green onions.
(Freshly shredded cheese vs. pre-shredded cheese adds additional creaminess and even melting.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)

As you can see, the first thing I did was to reduce the amount of potatoes in the soup.  I’m not super precise with this recipe so it varies between 1 1/2 to 2 cups of potatoes instead of the 3 cups called for in the recipe.  For the sake of writing it down, I said just 1 1/2 cups.

To keep the potato flavor, I added cauliflower to the soup.  Here’s what I do:

First, steam and puree some cauliflower to make about 1/2 cup.
Then, chop up about 1/2 – 1 cup cauliflower (this can be steamed or raw — if you steam it, then add the cauliflower at the end of the cooking so it doesn’t get overcooked) and add both to the soup mixture.

The puree thickens the soup and gives it a little thicker and “rough” (not sure how to describe it) texture so I add a little more chicken stock to the soup to improve the overall texture.  (**I have flagged this step as optional because the soup turns out perfectly well without the puree.  I added it because it gives more nutritional value.) I just eyeball this and do this as it’s cooking as well as at the very end if I think it needs it.  Adding more stock doesn’t adversely affect the flavor so it really just depends on how you like your soup — lots of broth or thicker like a stew.

Honestly, I play with the amounts almost every time I make this and no matter what, the flavor is always delicious so don’t be scared if you’re not precise!

The final health factor in this soup is replacing the traditional bacon garnish (which I totally LOVE, by the way) with uncured Canadian bacon.  The flavor is every bit as satisfying as its fattier counterpart — I was surprised with how much I loved the Canadian bacon — delicious!!

I wish I had a total breakdown of the fat and calories for you, but I’m just a regular home cook and wouldn’t know where to start, but I promise you this recipe is healthier than even it’s lower-fat original!  How can you go wrong with omitting carb-filled potatoes and replacing them with a vegetable like cauliflower?   Or replacing fatty bacon with uncured Canadian bacon?

 

I absolutely love this soup and I hope you will too!

Happy Saturday y’all!

**UPDATE:  I made a slight update to this post to reflect an optional change to the recipe.  Adding cauliflower puree isn’t mandatory…I have added it in the past because I was trying to amp up the nutritional value, but it is not necessary to make a great-tasting soup!  Also…while I’m amending, note that if you opt to use a low-sodium chicken broth (which I sometimes use) you will most likely need to add some salt.  Also note that the Canadian bacon doesn’t add the saltiness that bacon does, so season as you feel necessary.  

 
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3 Responses to Healthier Baked Potato Soup Recipe

  1. Bobbie says:

    I LOVE potato soup and I can not make it. Every time it is just too thick and glue like and not tasty. I am not gifted in this department at all. Its sad really…

  2. DELICIOUS!!! I can’t wait to try this. Thank you for sharing!

    I would LOVE to have you share this at our link party!

    Melissa
    redflycreations(dot)com

  3. Yum! It’s still really chilly here too so I might have to try this

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