I may not be Irish, but I appreciate a good potato soup as much as the next girl. If you’re choosing to forego corned beef and cabbage this year, but still want to pay homage to the Emerald Isle, this soup is a fantastic option. (Or I suppose you could have a green beer, as though I had to remind you of that little tradition.) Why potatoes? They are quintessentially Irish – they were such a staple in the Irish Diet that when a blight struck the potato crop in 1845, it launched the Irish Potato Famine, during which a million people died and a million more left the country in order to survive, collectively reducing the population by nearly 50%. So yes, potatoes are a BIG DEAL to the Irish.
Potato soup traditionally is thickened with cream or a butter and flour based roux. But this one uses pureed cauliflower instead. (Shhhh. I won’t tell if you don’t. I didn’t call it Potato-CAULIFLOWER Soup, did I?) I promise that even the cauliflower-haters at your table will not notice that it’s in here. Cauliflower sneaks into recipes unnoticed when you need an extra bit of lush creaminess. And nowhere do you need that more than in potato soup! Since it’s low in calories, has no cholesterol, and is a good source of fiber, cauliflower is a great tool to amp up the health quotient of this recipe as well.
Break out your immersion blender, crank up the Irish tunes (might I recommend some vintage U2?) and make this soup. You’ll love it. And when you gather round your table to enjoy it, here’s an Irish blessing for you and yours.
“May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.”
Irish Potato Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1″ pieces)
1 head of cauliflower, stem removed and cut into florets
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 1% or 2% milk
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute diced onion for 3 or 4 minutes, or until soft.
2. Add potatoes, cauliflower florets, celery seed, dried thyme, salt, chicken broth, and milk. Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove lid and puree with an immersion blender (or in a blender if you don’t have one, but please get one, having one makes life so much easier!) until smooth.
4. Stir in light sour cream to combine. Cook over low heat an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Serve with toppings, if you’re so inclined. I like the idea of things like a bit of extra sharp cheddar, some sliced green onions, a pinch of chopped parsley or maybe some crumbled (turkey) bacon.