Loaded Baked Potato & Cauliflower Soup

'Tis the season for cold and flu symptoms. I've been sick for about three weeks with a cold turned sinus infection -- so we've been eating a lot of soup as I wade my way through this sinus induced fog. I'm obsessed with a coconut bacon BLT at a local cafe and was intrigued by this recipe. Dave and I both enjoyed this recipe, we thought the coconut bacon was very similar to the coconut bacon on the sandwich that I like from the local cafe. It was nice to be able to have a loaded baked potato soup without needing to add soy bacon like we usually do, Dave's not the biggest fan of soy bacon and so this was something that he could enjoy too.

Recipe slightly adapted from Vegetarian Ventures.

-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 onion diced
-1 clove garlic minced
-2 large russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
-1 head cauliflower cut into small pieces
-2 cups vegetable broth
-6 cups water
-1 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes
-1 tablespoon liquid smoke
-1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
-1 tablespoon maple syrup
-Chives and cheddar for topping
-Hot pepper flakes to taste 
-Salt / Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the liquid smoke, soy sauce, and maple syrup in a bowl. Add the coconut flakes and stir until the coconut flakes are coated in the sauce. Spread the coconut flakes out onto a single layer on the parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring the flakes every 5 minutes to make sure they are evenly cooked and to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, in a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 7 minutes and then add the garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Once both the onion and garlic are softened and fragrant, add the potatoes, cauliflower, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and then add the vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking the soup for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to taste. 

Divide the soup into bowls and top with chive, cheddar cheese, and coconut bacon. 


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