Creamy Cauli Potato Soup
Over the holidays, I participated in a Project Zero challenge. The challenge was not to gain any weight over the holidays. I totally stressed over it … I didn’t have a scale at home and the one at the gym at work disappeared so I had no way to see how I was doing! I looked for a scale in a couple stores, but never found one in the rush of the holidays. And then, the day before we were supposed to weigh ourselves to see if we’d done well, I visited my friend and she offered to let me use her scale. I was a little scared to step onto the scale, but then ecstatic to see that not only had I not gained any weight–I had actually LOST a pound!
With this tiny bit of encouragement, I decided to make a change in my life and try to lose the baby belly that started 16 years ago when my daughter was born, but has been getting slowly bigger and bigger the past few years. I met with one of the fitness guys at work and he encouraged me to do some research, take some measurements and make a change, then track the measurements to see if my strategy is working.
I used to swim ages ago, but had to quit when I discovered I was allergic to chlorine. That was probably 20 years ago. Recently I learned there is a salt water pool at one of the local gyms. I decided to try it out and it was a total flashback to all my prior years of swimming … I loved it! I joined the gym and added a few swimming sessions every week (as many as I can fit in my schedule) to my regular yoga routine. I cut down on drinking. And I have been eating like a bird for a month now. I’ve lost 5 – 7 pounds (my weight fluctuates every day, so it’s hard to tell exactly how much, but I am definitely thinner!) I continue to look for ways to eat well and save calories. I want to feel beautiful again when I look in the mirror. Although I started it before my boyfriend and I broke up, in a way, this new health kick has become a way to deal with this heartache I’m struggling through–I release all my sorrow into the water. At yoga I surround myself with friends and work out all the negative energy. Every workout is a baby step towards health and happiness.
Speaking of banishing negative energy, soup is total comfort and (if you ask me), the perfect food for banishing the blues. Potato soup especially. I thought I’d try lightening up potato soup with a bunch of cauliflower. It turned out good! Is it as rich and comforting as my Cheddar Blue Cheese Potato soup? Um, no. Is it super thick and creamy like my Better than Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup? Not really. Is it spicy yet creamy like my King Ranch Chicken Soup? No, it’s not. But it is tasty and it’s light and it’s lovely and it’s low cal and it helps me stick to my fitness goals. Here’s what this soup has going on:
- Low in cholesterol
- High in dietary fiber
- High in phosphorus
- High in potassium
- High in vitamin B6
- Very high in vitamin C
- Gluten free and vegetarian (if you use veggie broth)
and only 222 calories per pint of soup. It’s a rock star in soup form. Or maybe it’s Melissa Etheridge in soup form. Melissa has been singing to me a lot lately …
- 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic
- 1.5 lb. cauliflower, separated into florets
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel), cold
- 1/2 cup - 1 cup milk, cold
- 2 green onions, snipped (with tops), plus extra for garnish
- Red Robin Seasoning (or salt) & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Optional: shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for garnish
- Put the potatoes in a small mixing bowl, toss them in 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil, cover and microwave on high for 5 - 7 minutes or until tender. Roughly mash the potatoes with a fork.
- Meanwhile, heat a soup pot over medium heat and add the rest of the olive oil, then the onion, celery and garlic. Saute until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the cauliflower, broth and bay leaf to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover partially and let cook for about 15 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender.
- Let the soup cool a bit, then put in a blender with the cream cheese and milk. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the cauliflower puree back into the pot and stir in the potatoes and green onions. Season to taste with Red Robin Seasoning, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Serve hot with additional green onions and, if desired, a bit of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for garnish.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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