Even cream of potato soup can be a healthy dish. Follow these simple tips to make your recipe extra special.
Potato soup is one of those dishes that sounds so healthy – until you look at the ingredients. By the time you add cream, butter, and chicken broth a lowly potato has been turned into an artery clogging dinner. Makes you wonder if some sort of evil scientist was involved!
I love creamy foods as much as anyone, but I’m not crazy about all that fat and salt. So I designed a healthy potato-leek soup. You can too.
- Use fresh vegetables. Buy a potato. Peel a potato. Cook the potato. Don’t use potato flakes or potato starch. You, and your soup, deserve the real thing. Better yet, use stored potatoes that you grew yourself.
- Add more vegetables. I always add carrots and leeks to my potato soup. Why? Mostly because I like carrots and leeks, but also to add more flavor and color – which also adds more nutrients.
- Use low-sodium broth. Purchased potato soup is FULL of salt. Most of that salt comes from the broth. Either make your own broth (or broth powder) or use a low-sodium broth.
- Boost flavor with herbs and spices, not just salt. Let’s face it, potatoes don’t really have an overwhelming flavor of their own. That’s why so many people add lots of unhealthy toppings to their baked potatoes. I like to add celery seed and red pepper to potato-leek soup, along with some salt and pepper. Other good options might be summer savory, chervil, dill or thyme.
- Boost flavor with condiments. Add a couple of tablespoons of red wine vinegar or a dash of mustard to your soup. Vinegar loves potatoes and boosts flavor in potato dishes of all types.
- Let the potatoes themselves provide the creamy texture. Since I prefer my potato soup to be both creamy and chunky, I use russet potatoes and yellow potatoes. The russets basically fall apart while cooking, lending a creamy texture. The yellow potatoes hold together for a chunky consistency. You could use all russets or all yellow, either work great.
- Stir together a tablespoon or so of flour and 1/2 cup of low-fat sour cream. Gently stir into four servings of simmering potato soup. Adding just a little bit of sour cream gives the soup that nice, creamy mouth-feel without adding the usual cream and butter.
You can find a creamy potato soup recipe, and lots of other healthy but delicious recipes, in my cookbook, The New Contented Heart Cookbook – Recipes for a Healthy Heart.