Like many, I also made some new years resolutions. No, not the usual “I need to lose 15 pounds” but it almost points of “I will be gaining 15 pounds”. Cooking at least once a week for friends and myself is going to be interesting. Being able to come up with something healthy, delicious and unique is always the best combination. Sadly, I’ve strayed away from baking for now but hopefully as the year progresses, I’ll be able to get back into it. Any takers for becoming guinea pigs?
Today’s lunch is a rendition of a baked potato as a soup with classic cornbread. For those damp Vancouver days that’s full of tummy warming potatoes and the comfort of bacon. Of course, you can never have a baked potato without fixings and boy does this soup have its fixings. Many thanks to my sous chef of the night (CC) and his cutting skills as well as Look Who’s Cookin. What attracted me the most about this initial recipe was the fact that it doesn’t use cream but tastes just as amazing.
The soup itself has a heavier taste. Perhaps a few drops of lemon juice would help with bringing it back from being too heavy. I added the apples and potato chunks for some texture, which helped with the heavy texture of the soup. I found that eating it with scallions made a huge difference in that it reminded one of a baked potato and it added that onion strength into it. It’s very typical to make cornbread or biscuits with a chowder like this but I think it was necessary because if you ate it without anything, the palette gets slightly overwhelmed with the starch from the potatoes and the yummy taste of bacon. Enjoy!
Healthy Baked Potato Chowder
(inspired by Look Who’s Cookin’: http://bit.ly/i9Yz7m )
serves 4-5 (or 2 hungry men and a short miss)
- 8 medium-small Yukon gold potatoes,cut in cubes
- 1 carton (32 oz) chicken broth
- Half a bulb roasted garlic
- 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp each salt and ground pepper
- 1/3 c flour
- 1 c milk
- 1 teaspoon bacon oil (from the bacon)
- 1.5 c aged cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 c marble cheese, shredded
- 1 granny smith apple, cubed
- 1 can (14oz) whole kernel corn, drained
- 4 strips bacon (see tip)
- chopped scallions
- Boil potatoes until tender (You should be able to stick a chopstick into it with a little bit of force but don’t let the potatoes break). Drain. Leave 4 potatoes in pot and take the rest out for dicing
- Mash reserved in pot potatoes with fork. Stir in broth, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium;cook ,uncovered 2 mins.
- In small bowl,stir flour into milk with wire whisk until well mixed. Add milk mixture and bacon oil to potato mixture,stirring constantly.
- Cook over medium heat,stirring frequently,until mixture thickens and boils.
- Stir in cheeses, diced potatoes, corn, apples, bacon till cheese is melted.
- Ladle chowder into bowls;top with scallions/shredded cheese.
- For the bacon: use the oven method. (400〫F, 10 mins into baking flip bacon and cook for another 10) Remember to use either parchment paper or tin foil to prevent an oily mess
- I used Armstrong Aged Cheddar but if I had the option, I would’ve probably used a smoked cheese in combination with another sharp cheese.
- Scallions make all the difference. The soup itself is “heavy” in tastes and the scallions add that simple refreshing “green” taste that makes you wanting more.