When Michael and I first started dating, I made loaded baked potatoes for a football game, and I'm pretty sure that's when he fell in love with me. They were filled with cheddar, cream cheese, bacon, sour cream, and probably approximately 2,000 calories. Back then I was trying to impress him, so I didn't care about how healthy they were, but we haven't had those potatoes since then. This cauliflower and baked potato soup recreates all the flavors from that day, but for less than 500 calories per serving. The cauliflower replaces some of the potatoes, but you can't taste it at all--I promise. It's creamy, cheesy, cozy, and so so tasty.
Here's what you'll need for this cauliflower and baked potato soup (and how much it'll cost).
- Golden/yellow potatoes ($3.67). You only need a pound for this recipe, so we like to buy the small bags of mini potatoes. The small potatoes are easier to manage and don't usually come in big bags that we'll never finish eating.
- Cauliflower ($2.88). We buy a whole head.
- Yellow or white onion ($1.00)
- Bacon ($3.43)
- Chicken broth ($1.33)
- Sharp cheddar ($1.86). Buy a block and shred your own cheese. It melts better than the pre-grated stuff.
- Fresh chives or green onions ($0.78). Use whichever you like more. Green onions tend to be easier to find, but we have chives growing in our mini herb garden, so that's what I used. The green onions give a more intense onion-y flavor. If you want chives, they're usually in the refrigerated section with the other pre-packaged fresh herbs.
- Typical pantry and fridge ingredients: flour (use gluten-free 1-1 flour if you're gluten free--that's what I used!), milk (we used 2%), salt, black pepper, ground cayenne, and garlic powder
Excluding the typical pantry and fridge ingredients, the ingredients for this soup cost around $14.95, or about $2.50 per serving.
Here's how you make this potato soup.
Start this soup with some easy prep. Cut potatoes into small cubes--the smaller you cut them, the faster they'll cook. Then cut up a head of cauliflower into small chunks and dice an onion. Put the potatoes into a saucepan and add enough water to cover them, along with a pinch of salt. Put the pan over high heat and allow the water to come to a boil, about 10 minutes. Then add the cauliflower and turn the heat down to medium.
Cook until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Once they're done, drain the pot and use an immersion blender, potato masher, or regular blender to blend/mash the potatoes and cauliflower until smooth. If you want a few chunks of potato in your soup, leave a few out of the blender.
While the potatoes and cauliflower are cooking, cut the bacon into small squares and add to a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until it's crispy. Once it's done, remove it from the pan and drain (or sop up with a paper towel) all but 2 tablespoons of the grease. Then add the onions to the same pot and cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning.
Add the flour to the pot and whisk to combine it with the bacon grease and onions. If the mixture seems dry, add a touch of oil (the flour shouldn't be dry--it should form a paste with the grease/oil). Cook for about a minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add the chicken broth and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring the broth to a simmer and allow it to thicken slightly, then gradually add the milk and seasonings and mix everything together. Bring it back to a simmer.
Once the broth is re-thickened, add the potatoes, chopped chives, and cheese and stir until everything is combined and the cheese is melted. Garnish with extra shredded cheese, chopped chives, and bacon. Enjoy!