Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tuscan Potato Soup

In the spirit of fall being in full effect, I made this soup the other evening. The gist of the recipe came from a recent Cooking Light, but I changed it up a bit. This was a pretty easy weeknight dinner to make (I recommend an immersion blender) and the leftovers were great in lunches for the week! The Yukon potatoes gave this soup a very creamy texture without all the added fat of using a lot of butter or cream. I have never done crumbled sausage on top before, but now could not imagine this soup without it.


2 heads garlic
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups finely chopped onion, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
2 1/4 pounds cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 6 cups)
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
3 green onion stalks, chopped roughly

6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage, casings removed


Preheat oven to 400.

Cut off pointed end of each garlic head to partially reveal cloves, place each head in the center of a small sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil over each head; wrap each in foil. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Squeeze to extract pulp; discard skins.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups onion; sauté 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and potato; sauté 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in half-and-half. Squeeze roasted garlic into pot, blend entire pot with immersion blender until smooth (can be done in a real blender if you do not have an immersion blender). Finely grate 2 ounces cheese to yield 1/2 cup; stir into soup. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1/2 cup onion; sauté for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and sausage cook 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble sausage.

Divide soup into bowls, top with remaining cheese, sausage crumbles, and green onions.

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