Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
While potatoes simmer, combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cauliflower, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray; toss to coat. Roast at 450° for 30 minutes or until browned, turning once.
Place cauliflower mixture and milk in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour cauliflower mixture into a large bowl. Add half of potato mixture to blender; pulse 5 to 6 times or until coarsely chopped. Pour into bowl with cauliflower mixture. Repeat with remaining potato mixture. Place cauliflower-potato mixture in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 cup green onions, and fromage blanc; stir until fromage blanc melts. Ladle soup into 8 bowls. Top evenly with remaining green onions, cheese, and bacon.
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We LOVED this soup! I did follow the suggestions of some other reviews and made a few more potatoes, and left them slightly chunky for more texture. I bought 1% milk by mistake and it wasn't detectable. Delicious!
Loved the roasted cauliflower as an added ingredient! Was using up things in the fridge, so ended up with 3/4c each of half & half and 2% milk which I pureed with the cauliflower and used a potato masher in the soup itself as we also like a bit more texture. I have to agree it was a bit on the bland side, and I added a LOT of pepper and about 2 t salt (which I never do!) and we added hot sauce at the table. Husband of course prefers more meat, so even for the 2 of us I used all 4 slices of bacon, crumbling 2 into the soup and the others over our bowls. My fromage went hiding on me, so used fat free sour cream and just floated the green onions and cheese on top. Makes a lot and we're looking forward to leftovers tonight, altho I promised DH more meat, so may add some diced ham.
I have to say I was skeptic... taking out all the good cream, bacon and fat would remove all the flavor... I was pleasantly surprised and thought this recipe had a lot of great flavor. My husband however wanted more substance to it, he likes his soups thick and hearty... so this was a "maybe" on the "should I make it again list" for him. I would make it, and it also showed me that baked cauliflower is really good... I may make that for dinner as a side!