A baked potato soup that’s mostly cauliflower

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I’m a little late in posting a recap of our food section yesterday, but I was pretty happy with how this lead package on cauliflower turned out.

Both chefs and home cooks are using plain Jane white cauliflower in all kinds of new ways right now, including at restaurants like Gardner and St. Philip, which shared its recipe for golden cauliflower with herbed yogurt late last year. As it turns out, white cauliflower can be manipulated to make “rice” and even crazy things like pizza crust, tortillas and bread for grilled cheese sandwiches.

For our story, we had recipes for mock mashed potatoes and tabouli, as well as entree dishes like this cauliflower baked potato soup, which has both cauliflower and potatoes, but only one small potato for the entire soup, cutting the total carbs by more than half.

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Creamy Cauliflower Baked Potato Soup from “Supermarket Healthy: Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a Lot” by Melissa d’Arabian. Photo by Tina Rupp.

Creamy Cauliflower ‘Baked Potato’ Soup

There are few soups more decadent than a classic baked potato soup, loaded with cream, Cheddar cheese and bacon. I leave out the cream, sub cauliflower for most of the potato (using one potato locks in the flavor) and add a dollop of reduced-fat cream cheese to deliver the creaminess and cheesiness. A stealth addition of one carrot adds a subtle color that makes the soup seem cheesier than it is, since the only Cheddar here is what sits on top of the soup!

— Melissa d’Arabian

Add the bacon to a large soup pot set over medium heat and cook until the bacon is crisp, about 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside.

Stir the onion into the bacon fat and cook, stirring often, until it is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower, potato, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium-high, add the broth and 1 cup water, and bring the liquid to a boil. Simmer the mixture until the vegetables are very soft, about 13 minutes. Turn off the heat and use a ladle to transfer half the vegetables and liquid to a blender. Add the cream cheese and blend until smooth.

Pour the puréed soup into a large bowl or clean saucepan. Blend the second half of the soup until it is smooth and add it to the first batch. Heat the soup over medium heat until it is warmed through. Divide among soup bowls and serve topped with a dollop of yogurt and some of the grated cheese, bacon, and scallion. Serves 4.

— From “Supermarket Healthy: Recipes and Know-How for Eating Well Without Spending a Lot” by Melissa d’Arabian (Clarkson Potter, $24.99)


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