January and February are all about comfort food for me. It’s so cold and gloomy outside that all I want to do is curl up with a bowl of chowder or creamy potato soup.
Although loaded baked potato soup usually seems like a good idea at the time, I almost always end up regretting it: it’s so heavy and creamy that zaps all of my energy and leaves me with a stomachache.
Luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for a lighter loaded baked potato soup rich and creamy, without the heaviness of traditional recipes. This way, I get to enjoy my soup and the rest of the day, too!
First, I use white potatoes instead of the more common russets. White potatoes have a medium level of starch and a smooth, creamy texture that blends up beautifully without the addition of milk or cream.
Since their skins are very thin, you can blend them right into the soup for extra nutrition (plus who ever feels like peeling potatoes anyway?)
Instead of using all potatoes, I blend in some cauliflower. Cauliflower has a mild flavor that is almost unnoticeable after it’s blended in with the potatoes, and it keeps the soup from becoming too dense.
I’ve found that using a 2:1 ratio of potatoes to cauliflower results in the best flavor. You can tell it’s there if you’re paying attention, but this is definitely still potato soup! (If you’d rather have the cauliflower on its own, try this creamy cauliflower soup with piri piri shrimp.)
I love sour cream on my baked potatoes, and a dollop of Greek yogurt in this soup adds a similar tanginess while also helping to bring the flavors of the soup together.
Top the potato soup with plenty of scallions, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and crumbled bacon. If you want, you can also add a dash or two of hot sauce, or even taco sauce.
When I’m in the mood for something a little spicier, I also love to add a few drops of hot sauce.
Stretch Lauren’s gorgeous soup out for a crowd by serving it with a hefty, flavorful salad. We suggest Julia’s shaved Brussels sprout salad!
Lighter Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe
- 4 Bacon
- 2 Shallot Chopped
- 1 Garlic Minced
- 2 White Potato Skin left on, cubed, about 4 cups
- 1 Cauliflower Cut into florets, about 2 cups
- 1 Flour
- 3 Vegetable Stock
- 2 Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
- Salt and Pepper To taste
- 8 Scallion Chopped
- 2 Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded
- In a large soup pot set over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel, leaving 1 tablespoon of rendered bacon fat in the pot. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the shallot and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until softened. Add the potatoes and cauliflower. Sprinkle the flour into the pot; mix well. Slowly stir in the vegetable stock. Bring to a rapid simmer; cover and cook 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
- Working in batches if necessary, transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the yogurt. Stir half of the bacon, scallions, and cheese into the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with remaining bacon, scallions, and cheese.