Easy + Light Potato Soup

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Happy 2013, y’all!

As always, I am striving for balance in the new year. After weeks of hearty meals and many cookies, I’m realistic enough to know that while a few weeks of lighter meals may be on the horizon–I’ll never give up dessert.

So, in an effort to find and maintain some balance, I made you this soup. Actually, I’ve made this soup 5 times in the last 3 weeks. It’s so dang good and filling! It’s the first potato soup I have ever made, myself. A lot of recipes call for cream or half-and-half, but when it comes to dinner, I struggle with the thought of consuming cups of either as part of a balanced meal. Instead, I subbed in reduced-fat milk, making the bulk of the soup with stock. There are some vegetables in there for good measure–and I bet you could sub some of the potatoes with cauliflower with great results. Even without the heavy dairy, this soup is creamy and satisfying. Topping the soup with some choice garnishes–bacon, green onions, and greek yogurt, in this case–make this simple potato soup a totally flavorful and filling meal.

Easy Potato Soup

Serves 4-6

I use reduced-fat milk in this recipe with great results, but to keep it from separating once it boils, I mix the cold milk with cornstarch to bind it. 

2-2.5 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-1/4 inch cubes

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 celery stalk, diced fine

1 carrot, diced fine

1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, diced fine

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper, to taste

4 cups stock (I like to use either vegetable or chicken)

2 cups reduced-fat milk (I used 2%)

1.5 Tablespoons cornstarch

Garnishes I’m into: crisp bacon, green onions or chives, cheese, sour cream or greek yogurt, roasted tomatoes, croutons.

Place the peeled and diced potatoes in a large bowl of cool water, to prevent from oxidizing. Set aside.

Measure out the milk and whisk in the cornstarch, to combine and dissolve completely. Set aside.

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion, sprinkle lightly with salt and sweat until translucent and tender–about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook another minute. Drain and add the potatoes, followed by the stock. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer–taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if desired–and cook for about 15 minutes–or until the potatoes are very tender. Turn off the heat and using an immersion blender (or regular blender), blend the milk/cornstarch mixture into the soup. Continue to blend until the soup is smooth and creamy. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer to keep warm until ready to serve.

Garnish as desired.