This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Kraft.
The more I eat this soup, the more I think I should have named it “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Loaded Baked Potato Soup!” If, like me, you are trying to cut back on your carbohydrate consumption but have occasional cravings for a hearty potato soup, this one will definitely satisfy your needs.
But this soup isn’t just for low-carbers. It’s one of the best soups I’ve ever made and I’m pretty sure that everyone will love it – even cauliflower-haters. It’s amazing what a little cream cheese and bacon can do to a vegetable soup!
I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese in this soup and it’s one of the products you can use to enter Kraft’s Real Women of Philadelphia recipe video contest. Want to meet Paula Deen? Think you have what it takes be a cooking star? Want a chance to win $25,000? Head over the Real Women of Philadelphia site to join the community, find inspiration, and learn how to enter.
It’s entrée week over at RWoP and I created this hearty soup to help inspire you to participate!
I’m always amazed when a soup that tastes as great as this one starts with such simple ingredients. I used onion, cauliflower, bacon, cream cheese, cream, chives, and chicken stock. The cheddar is for garnish.
Start by cooking the bacon in your soup pot – a large saucepan is perfect.
Cook over medium heat until the bacon is nice and crisp.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crispy bacon pieces to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Pour off some of the bacon drippings, but leave about 2 tablespoons in the pot along with all that brown stuff stuck to the bottom. If your bacon doesn’t leave you with 2 tablespoons of drippings, just supplement with some butter.
Add the chopped onions to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned. It will smell amazing!
When the onions look like this, it’s time to add more ingredients!
Turn up the heat then add the cauliflower and chicken stock and stir, scraping up all those browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid come to a boil then cover the pot, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender enough to mash.
Add the cubes of cream cheese…
then mash it all together with a potato masher.
Now it’s time to stir in the heavy cream.
The first time I made this soup, I left it a little chunky like this. If you like a smooth and creamy soup, then break out the immersion blender! Of course you can puree it in batches in a regular blender as well. If you want a chunky soup, then skip this step.
This time around, I made the soup very smooth. It’s delicious either way, so the choice is yours.
Now it’s time to add the bacon and chives. Be sure to reserve some of the bacon pieces and chives for garnish!
Stir everything together and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. That’s it!
Serve the bowls of soup with lots of shredded cheddar cheese, reserved bacon pieces, and chives.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Bacon, Cheddar, and Chives
1/2 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium (2 1/2 pound) cauliflower, cored and chopped into florets
2 cups chicken stock or broth
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 6 pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Pour off bacon drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons in the pan (if you end up with less than 2 tablespoons of drippings, add enough butter to bring the total amount up to 2 tablespoons).
Add chopped onion to saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat, add cauliflower and chicken stock and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When liquid comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until cauliflower is tender enough to mash, 15-20 minutes.
Add the cream cheese and mash and stir the cauliflower and cream cheese with a potato masher. Stir in the heavy cream. If you would like a smooth soup, puree to desired consistency in the pot with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender (then return to pot).
Stir in 3/4 of the reserved bacon pieces (save the extra for garnish) and 1 tablespoon of chopped chives (save the extra for garnish). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve hot soup garnished with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon pieces, and chopped chives.
Yield: 4 servings
Now that you see how easy it is to incorporate Philadelphia Cream Cheese into an entree, maybe you should create your own! Head over to Kraft’s Real Women of Philadelphia site to join the community, see what other are cooking up, and if inspiration strikes, enter the contest for a chance to win $25,000!
To see what other food bloggers are creating with Philadelphia products, check out the BlogHer roundup page!