Thursday, February 12, 2015

80--- Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Chowder

Cauliflower is certainly having an all-star moment. I recently read an article that named it one of the "top 10 foods of 2015".  It's quite versatile- it doesn't have much of it's own flavor and easily takes on the flavor of the items that it's cooked with.... much like our friend the potato.  However, it contains fewer calories and carbohydrates than a spud, making it a great addition to a previously starch-heavy soup!

Cheesy Cauliflower and Potato Chowder
Serves 10

1/2 lb lean bacon. chopped
6 green onions, sliced (reserve greens for garnish)
4 carrots, chopped
6 cups cauliflower heads, chopped into 1" pieces
4 red potatoes, chopped into 1" pieces
8 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups milk of your choice
3 Tbsp cornstarch 
1/4 cups cold water
6 oz Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley 

Heat a large soup pot to medium-high heat.  Add chopped bacon and saute until crisp.  Remove from the pot, leaving the drippings.  Add carrots, onion, and cauliflower.  Saute for 2-3 minutes before adding broth, potatoes, and milk.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 40 minutes.

In a liquid measuring cup, combine cornstarch and water and whisk until well mixed.  Add mixture to the soup, stirring to evenly distribute.  Continue to cook for 5 minutes as soup thickens.   Stir in shredded cheese, pepper, and parsley.  Cook for additional 5 minutes as cheese melts.  Add cooked bacon to the soup and stir to combine.

Serve immediately, garnished with chives if desired.

Nutrition Info per 1 1/2 cups: 237 calories, 9 g fat, 13 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber

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