I LOVE potato soup. Well, I love soup in general, but I love potatoes, and I love creamy stuff. So potato soup is the soup of my dreams. Add in stuff like shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, and where could I go wrong? I even give my potato soup a little kick, because, well, everything’s better spicy!
Hells to the yeah!
Here’s my recipe. The notations next to each ingredient is how many calories are in each.
- 1 medium onion, chopped (44)
- 2 carrots (50)
- 3 celery stalks (18)
- 1 green pepper (33)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil (40)
- ½ package (several handfuls) fresh spinach, roughly chopped (15)
- 2 tomatoes (50)
- 1 can of Rotel or diced tomatoes (50)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour (114)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 cups chicken broth (40)
- 4 medium red potatoes (600)
- 1 cup skim milk (80)
- ½ c whole wheat macaroni (140)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Dave’s Insanity Sauce, but you can use Tabasco, etc.)
- Salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes (to taste)
If you have six servings (mine ended up making a lot more because I over-spiced it and added more chicken broth), it’s about 200 calories per bowl.
- Shredded Cheddar cheese (3/4 oz – 83)
- Turkey bacon (2 slices – 84)
In a large saucepan, boil potatoes and drain. Bring chicken broth to a boil, reduce heat and add the potatoes. Saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery, green pepper until soft. Add some of the chicken broth (either reserved, or dip it right out of the potato pot like I did) and bring to a simmer. Stir in flour, salt, basil and black pepper; mix well. Gradually add to broth. Add spinach, macaroni and Rotel. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the tomato, milk and hot sauce. Be careful with Dave’s sauce, it’s SUPER-spicy. A few drops will do. When you pour in 1/8th of a cup like I did, you’ll have to add a bunch more chicken broth to save your mouth. Heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley (or dried Italian seasonings).
Chop up your potatoes to bite-sized (or slightly smaller) pieces.Throw in a pot with hot water, bring to a boil and cook until your fork easily pierces one.
While your potatoes are cooking, chop up whatever you think makes a good soup base. I always use garlic, carrots, onions and celery. In this case I also had a green pepper. Sounds good to me! I also always think fresh mushrooms would be good in potato soup. Or really finely chopped broccoli or cauliflower. (I chop and add my spinach later.)
Drain (but don’t rinse) your potatoes when they’re done cooking. You want to keep the warm, plus you want to keep all the starchy goodness.
Transfer these potatoes back to their original pot along with all of your chicken broth. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Saute all of your veggies with just a little olive oil. I always warm the olive oil, throw in the garlic and let it cook just a little before adding everything else. If I’m not rushed, I’ll also add the onions in step two, then the rest. Mostly because I think the garlic and onions smell great, but I also think it flavors everything a little different. Then add a little chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
This is where you add the flour (and salt, pepper and basil). NEXT TIME I think I’ll either skip the flour all together or add it in the very, very last step as a paste. You can also substitute flour for a corn starch paste. But because I added so much extra chicken broth my soup really wasn’t thick. And I didn’t hate it. So why should I waste the calories on flour?
While your soup simmers, chop up the spinach. My trick with spinach is I like it to look like it’s a seasoning (and not a healthy vegetable). So I try to chop it pretty small. People are turned off by the idea of spinach, but I’ve found you can’t even taste it. This is also where I decided to add a can of Rotel.
I also added about a half a cup of whole wheat macaroni. This is totally optional. My mom always made potato soup with macaroni so it seems incomplete without it. At least since it’s whole wheat it’s better than plain, right?
Bring everything back to a boil and cook for two more or three more minutes to cook the macaroni and spinach.
I also chopped up two tomatoes because I had two in my fridge that would have gone bad if I didn’t use them soon.
I totally used skim milk to save on calories. I personally can’t tell the difference. I also intended to add “a few drops” of Dave’s insanity sauce to give it a little extra spice. I went overboard.
At this point you can start seasoning with salt, black pepper, and red pepper (if you haven’t already gone overboard with Dave’s sauce!). You can also add additional garlic powder if you think it needs it.
Then I always garnish with fresh grated cheddar cheese and cooked turkey bacon (I personally prefer turkey bacon, not just because it’s lower calorie).
Then you can always eat the soup with Saltine crackers or fresh bread. I personally love fresh tortillas for dipping, too!
If you garnish with 3/4 oz of cheddar cheese and 1 slice of turkey bacon, it brings the total per bowl from 200 calories up to 325 calories. This totally leaves room for a roll, tortilla or saltines!