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Loaded Baked Potato And Cauliflower Soup From Healthyish With OXO Tools

Just as the weather was starting to warm up a bit, the cold front returned. What's better than a steaming bowl of soup for lunch or dinner? A steaming bowl of soup topped with bacon ;)

My friends from oxo sent me a copy of Healthyish cookbook, which I've already written about, with a variety of oxo tools to make Lindsay's Loaded Baked Potato And Cauliflower Soup. {Disclaimer: the book and the tools were a gift. I am not compensated in any way for this blog post. All opinions are my own as always!}

Although my kitchen is pretty well stocked, it's always fun to get new tools to play with. Also, I gave the older versions of these tools to my friend Emily. Win/win!

Pro 8" Chef's Knife - So sharp!! I think everyone needs a chef's knife, and this one did a great job cutting through large potatoes and cauliflower; plus, it's made in Germany, which is a good thing in my book when it comes to kitchen tools.

12" Tongs - perfect for taking out strips of bacon from the pan or reaching out to the top shelf of your cabinet to grab a bag of snacks.

Wooden Corner Spoon - who doesn't need an extra wooden spoon? This one has a straight side, which makes it easier to reach into the corners of your pots and pans.

Coarse Grater - perfect for any cheese or vegetable!

Swivel Peeler - cushioned handle with an extra sharp blade! This peeler handled Russet potatoes as if they were butter. 

Kitchen and Herb Scissors - my favorite part about these is that you can take them apart for ease of cleaning or to sharpen.

And now for the soup!!!

Loaded Baked Potato and Cauliflower Soup
Makes 12 cups; serves 4 to 6

True or false? The best part of a baked potato is the toppings. If you agree, then this soup is perfect for you. Starting off with bacon fat means that the entire soup is infused with delicious, smoky flavor. And, instead of just using starch-heavy potatoes, a blend of potato and cauliflower makes for a creamier, lighter soup. All this as balance for the classic baked potato toppings, naturally.

4 large slices (8 oz/225 g) extra-thick cut bacon
2 onions (12 oz/340 g), chopped (about 2 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large russet potatoes (2 lbs/910 g), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces (about 5 cups)
1 medium head cauliflower (1 ¼ lbs/570 g), cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
8 cups (2 L) chicken stock or vegetable stock
Sour cream, chopped fresh chives, and grated Cheddar cheese, for serving

Heat a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Place the bacon slices flat in the pot and cook, turning a couple times, until crispy and most of the fat has drained from the bacon, 8 to 12 minutes total. Using tongs, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving the fat in the pot.
Add the onions, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and soft, 10 to 12 minutes.
Stir in the potatoes, cauliflower, and stock, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a strong simmer and cook, stirring here and there, until the potatoes are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
Purée the soup, using a blender in batches or a handheld immersion blender. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if you like.

Slice or tear the cooked bacon into bite- size pieces and sprinkle it over bowls of the soup. Serve topped with sour cream, chives, and cheese.

The only changes I made to the recipe were 1) using scallions because my store did not have chives, 2) using an immersion blender, and 3) adding a bit of cayenne powder in the end.

The soup is comforting and filling and is great for leftovers the next day. My friend Emily came over for dinner with her boyfriend Cal and we paired the soup with epic grilled cheese sandwiches cooked on a panini grill with onions, ham and tomatoes! SO good. The onions Emily cooked in leftover bacon from from the extra bacon I cooked for the soup ;)