Monday, January 9, 2012

Makeover Monday: Skinny Potato Soup

We are a little over a week into 2012.  How are those New Year's resolutions going?  If losing weight was on your list of goals for the year, no doubt you have had some cravings in this last week.  Maybe you've passed on dessert a few more times than you usually do.  Maybe you've purged your house of junk food.  Maybe you've coaxed yourself off the couch and onto a treadmill in the evenings.  I bet you could use some comfort food right about now.  How about a nice hot bowl of creamy potato soup?  

Think you can't fit a creamy soup into your new diet plan?  Now you can!  I love potato soup, but I don't love all the fat that comes with its rich creaminess.  So I got rid of the fat.  But I didn't want a thin, wimpy soup.  What's a girl to do?  My big secret to cut calories without taste in this soup is veggies power.

Since I used low fat or fat free ingredients, I used a cup of canned pumpkin instead of the called for sour cream.  This gives the soup a boost of creaminess without the fat.  I don't usually use fat free cheese, but I must have accidentally bought some, so I gave it a chance.  I have been making my usual potato soup for years, and I didn't tell my husband I had changed anything this time.  He had no idea!  
To make this deceivingly healthy soup, start by sauteing the onion in a splash of olive oil.
Cut up potatoes and carrots.  I usually use russet potatoes, but this time I happened to use red potatoes.  They were great!  Also, I like to keep my skins on my potatoes.  It's one less step in preparation, and potato skins have fiber.  
Add your carrots and potatoes, broth, and water.  Add enough water to cover most of the veggies.  Bring the liquid to a boil. 
Then turn down the heat and add the cream of mushroom soup, milk, pepper, and parsley.
Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are soft.  A few minutes before serving, whisk in the pumpkin and fat free cheese. 
Serve this to your friends and loved ones.  You can tell them it is low in fat.  But they probably won't believe you.  Maybe you should keep it to yourself so as not to start a fight!  Enjoy!

Skinny Potato Soup:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 can low fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups fat free shredded cheddar cheese
Heat olive oil in large saucepan.  Saute onions until soft.
Add broth, water, potatoes, and carrots and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and add cream of mushroom, milk, pepper, and parsley.  Simmer until potatoes and carrots are soft.
Whisk in pumpkin and cheese a few minutes before serving.  If soup is too thick, add more milk.

*Note: to make this a vegetarian soup, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

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