Monday, October 26, 2009

Recipe Spotlight: Baked Potato Soup and Southwestern Roll Ups

A cloudy and cool Fall Sunday is a perfect chance to make a big batch of soup. I wanted to make a soup that was hearty and delicious, so I chose baked potato soup. Oftentimes baked potato soup in restaurants is a cream-based soup. While delicious, it's not the healthiest thing in the world. For my batch I chose a broth-based recipe, and it was every bit as delicious as the heavy cream-based kind. The soup was scrumptious and warming, and even the football watching boys loved it!

Baked Potato Soup
A hearty, delicious, heart-warming classic! 

Serves 4-6

4 ounces bacon, small dice
1  onion, finely chopped
5  garlic cloves
1 russet potato, large dice
2  red potatoes, large dice
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 quart (8 cups) chicken stock
1 sourdough baguette, cut into1-inch pieces
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream, for garnish
3 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Heat bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plated with a slotted spoon and discard all but 1 tablespoon drippings.

Return pot to stove and add onions and garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add potato and stir to coat. Add vinegar and scrape up any browned bits. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potato is fork tender, about 20 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees and arrange a rack in the upper third.

When soup is ready, ladle into 8- to 12-ounce ovensafe bowls and top with two baguette slices. Pile cheese and bacon on top and repeat to make 4 to 6 servings. Place on a baking sheet and place in oven until cheese is melty and browned, about 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, let cool slightly, top each bowl with a dollop sour cream and a sprinkling of green onions and serve.
Recipe provided by Aida Mollenkamp,, with some adaptations by Sarah.

Along with the soup I served a fun and funky appetizer, Southwestern Roll Ups. I love ordering these as an appetizer at restaurants, but unfortunately restaurant versions are often fried, overburdened with greasy cheese, and served with fattening dip. Chili's Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch have 910 calories and 57 grams of fat! That's too much for an entire meal, let alone an appetizer. I found this recipe on, and made a few changes to make it as delicious as possible. This healthier version is delicious and guilt free!

Southwestern Roll Ups with Avocado Ranch Sauce
Southwestern flavors all rolled up 

and oozing with tastiness!
Serves 2

3 medium-size tortillas
1 small cooked skinless chicken breast; shredded
2 tbsp. canned black beans
3 tbsp. canned corn; drained
2 oz pepper jack cheese; shredded
1 tbsp. diced red chili pepper or chipotle in adobo
3/4 cup frozen chopped spinach; thawed & thoroughly drained

1/2 avocado
2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
1 tbsp. reduced fat Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1/2 diced tomato
dash pepper (or more, to taste) 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine chicken, beans, corn, cheese, chili pepper and spinach in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. Warm tortillas in the microwave for 15 seconds. On a clean, flat surface, lay out tortillas side by side. Put 1/3 of the chicken-spinach mixture in the center of each of tortilla. To assemble each of the rolls, fold the left and right sides in (so none of the filling escapes during the cooking process), and then roll up from the bottom of the tortilla until you reach the top. Place all 3 rolls (seams down) on a baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes, flipping rolls over about halfway through cooking.

While the roll ups are in the oven, combine the sour cream, avocado, and Ranch dressing in a small bowl. Stir until smooth and blended. Season to taste with pepper. Top your dipping sauce with the tomatoes just before you serve! Once the roll ups are done baking, allow them to cool for a few minutes. Then cut each in half diagonally, arrange them beautifully on a plate, and serve with the dipping sauce. Mmmmmmm!

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