Creamy Potato Soup, with Bacon, Green Onions, + Cheese

Our household rang in 2013 with the stomach bug. There hasn’t been a whole lot of magic happening in our kitchen. But once our tummies started feeling a bit stronger, I knew I had to try this potato soup recipe. It’s like a loaded baked potato in a soup. Comfort food in a bowl. It may be my new most favorite soup to come out of my kitchen. It totally hit the spot and is full of good, wholesome ingredients and it gets better and better each time you reheat it for leftovers. I hope you enjoy it as much!

creamy potato soup

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound cubed baking potato
  • 1 pound cubed Yukon gold potato
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Heat a large, heavy bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil to pan. Add onion, thyme and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender, stirring often.
3. Add potatoes, broth, salt, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for at least 35 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; take out bay leaves.
5. While the potatoes simmer, toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper until each floret is coated in oil. Arrange in one single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure the cauliflower isn’t too crowded but has space to roast evenly. Roast at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned, turning once.
6. Once cauliflower is finished, place roasted cauliflower in a food processor or blender with the milk and blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower mixture into a large bowl.
7. Add half of the potato mixture in the food processor or blender and pulse 5 to 6 times until coarsely chopped. Pour into the large bowl with cauliflower mixture and repeat with the second half of potato mixture.
8. Once everything has been processed/blended, pour back into the stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
9. Stir in salt, pepper, 1/2 cup green onions, most of the bacon (but save some for toppings) and sour cream. Stir until the sour cream melts and the soup is heated through.
10. Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with remaining bacon crumbles, freshly grated cheddar cheese and green onion. Cozy up and enjoy!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine (Jan/Feb 2013)
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Chicken + Vegetable Curry (grain-free, dairy-free – served over cauliflower “rice”)

So.  Husband and I are two weeks into our nutrition challenge and still going strong… what we are eating is very limited for this time, so I get to try to come up with new and exciting ways to mix up our food.  Some of my most creative, and most delicious cooking has happened in the last couple of weeks.  Been researching tons, exploring tons of blogs and cookbooks, talking to friends who don’t eat grains, and just trying new things in the kitchen.  Yesterday was no exception.  I read and re-read 3 different curry recipes, then put the cookbooks away (well, shut the computer off), and went to work on our chicken curry lunch without looking at any recipe.  Holy crap.  The result was one of the best things that has come out of my kitchen.  I tasted a lot as I went, added more of this and more of that, and waited til it was just right.  Then, we feasted.  Before my mess was cleaned up, I pretty much immediately re-made it to bring to a friend who needed a hug and a home cooked meal, and that’s when I wrote it all down and refined the recipe.  Friends, go make this.  Seriously.  And don’t worry if you don’t have every exact ingredient.  Trust your gut and taste as you go.  You really can’t go wrong.  Oh, and if you must, serve over rice…. but I highly recommend the cauliflower version.  You won’t be able to tell a difference.  I promise.

chicken and vegetable curry, made with cauliflower %22rice%22... grain free, dairy free, paleo

INGREDIENTS:
(for chicken and vegetables)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3-4 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 small sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs organic chicken, diced (you can use breasts or thighs depending on your preference)
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk (Natural Value Organic Coconut Milk), not shaken
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced 
  • 1-2 cups cabbage, shredded (I used purple, green would be great too)
INGREDIENTS:
(for spice blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
INGREDIENTS:
(for cauliflower “rice”)
METHOD:
1.  Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat.  Add cubed chicken, and cook until outside is browned and there is no pink on the inside. Drain off any liquid in the pan.
2.  While chicken is cooking, combine ingredients for the spice blend, stir, and set aside.
3.  In your food processor, add garlic, onion, and ginger and pulse until a chunky paste is formed.  About 10 pulses.
4.  Scrape paste from food processor on to chicken, and add peppers, zucchini, and cabbage.
5.  Drop in the other tablespoon of coconut oil, and turn heat onto medium.
6.  Add spice blend, and stir to coat chicken and veggies.
7.  Open both cans of coconut milk, and scoop off the coconut cream which will be at the top of the can, and add to mixture.  It will be solid until heated, at which point it will liquify.  Between both cans, you should have 1-1 1/2 cups of cream.  Discard the water left in the cans, or save for later use.
8.  Simmer for 20 or so minutes, or until veggies are cooked to your liking.
9.  While curry is simmering, take raw cauliflower florets and run through food processor with the grate attachment in place.  You can also throw the florets into the processor and pulse with the blade, but you will get smaller “rice” pieces this way.  Either way is fine.  If you don’t have food processor, you can grate by hand on a cheese grater.  I’ve done it this way in the past.  Doable, but tedious.
10.  Melt butter in another fry pan, over medium heat.  Dump grated cauliflower into pan with butter, add salt and pepper, and fry until tender.  Takes about 5-7 minutes.  Do not over cook.
11.  Serve up a heaping spoonful of “rice”, topped with chicken and veggies, and make sure to spoon some of the sauce on top.  Grain-free, dairy-free, and full of great vegetables and protein!  Come on!  Give it a try!  It is super easy, and you won’t be disappointed.
PS.  I made a vegan version of this for my friend simply by omitting chicken, and cooking “rice” in coconut oil instead of butter.  So there’s that too.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
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