It’s a new year and many of us are looking for ways to lighten up our meals and incorporate more whole, nutritious ingredients into our recipes. While this is a positive thing, it’s important not to go overboard and restrict ourselves just because it’s January.

One of my favorite tips when making lifestyle changes is to focus on small, sustainable changes rather than depriving yourself of the foods you love. You CAN enjoy what you eat AND live a healthy lifestyle! One way to start small is by making simple changes to your recipes to make them more nutritious.

This potato soup is the perfect example of a delicious, nutritious and comforting dish that provides potassium, fiber and vitamins while being uber satisfying.

Here are a few suggestions for lightening up your favorite comfort foods:

  • Add vegetables. Potato soup doesn’t always have carrots, but why not add them? They are packed with beta carotene and fiber and add a bit of sweetness to many recipes. You can also add vegetables to other soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, egg bakes, skillets, pasta and more! Keep a few bags of frozen veggies and a few fresh options and toss them into whatever you’re cooking.
  • Swap out ingredients high in saturated fat. Use olive or avocado oil instead of butter if it makes sense. Use cheese but add half as much. Use low fat or fat free dairy instead of whole fat dairy. In this recipe, I used low fat evaporated milk instead of cream and it’s still SO creamy and delicious.
  • Amplify the flavor with spices, herbs and acidic ingredients. Yes, spices and herbs add a ton of flavor and uniqueness to recipes and are crucial in good cooking, but they aren’t a substitute for salt. Acidic ingredients like lemon or lime juice and vinegars can provide a bit of “salty” flavor to your dish, so cut the salt in half and add a squeeze of acid instead. In this potato soup, I finished it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and it just brightens the dish (without a ton of salt).
  • Swap refined grains for whole. Refined grains have the bran and germ removed, which are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy fats. Choose bread, pasta and other grain foods that are made with 100% whole grains.
  • Balance your meal. Aim to include protein, fiber and heart-healthy fats in each meal. This will help you stay full and satisfied and stabilize your blood sugar.

There are so many other ways to boost the nutrition in your recipes!

What are your favorite recipe substitutions?

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Slow Cooker Potato Soup

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15-20 mins
  • Total Time: 20-30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Creamy lightened-up potato soup made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 34 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ pounds red potatoes, skins on, diced
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12-ounce can low fat evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • Splash fresh lemon juice
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and sliced green onion, for garnish

Instructions

Directions for Slow Cooker:

  1. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes, potatoes, stock, salt, mustard powder, celery salt and black pepper to the crock pot. Cook on low 2-3 hours or high 1-2 hours or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk and the cornstarch until dissolved. Stir into the potato soup and let cook another 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in a splash of lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  3. Serve potato soup in bowls topped with cheddar cheese and green onion.

Directions for Instant Pot:

  1. Set the Instant Pot to sauté. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add the carrots and onion and sauté 2-3 minutes or until slightly soft. Stir in the garlic and sauté 30-60 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Add the potatoes, stock, salt, mustard powder, celery salt and black pepper. Secure the lid and set the toggle to sealed. Set on manual high pressure for 3 minutes. When the timer goes off, use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the toggle to release and let the steam release. Once the steam is released, remove the lid.
  3. Set the Instant Pot on sauté. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and cornstarch until dissolved. Stir the mixture into the potato soup and simmer until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  4. Serve potato soup in bowls topped with cheddar cheese and green onion.

Notes

Cooking Tip: You can also use Yukon gold potatoes, skins on or Russet potatoes, peeled.

Substitution Tip: Swap with 1 ½ pounds cauliflower florets for a lower carb option.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 169
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 488mg
  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 36mg
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg

Keywords: soup, stew, potato, potatoes, vegetarian, side dish

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