I admit it - I live soup. So when it felt at all cool which in August meant a high of around eighty, I made soup. I'm not much for following recipes, but I had found a recipe for artichoke soup last spring and really liked it. So when I was pondering what to make for lunch on the way home from an estate sale, I decided to make it again. I looked up the recipe just for reference. I liked Giada's recipe and this one at Food and Wine.
Of course, I veered wildly off both recipes based on what I had in the larder. I started with chopping an onion. I had intended to use two, but the other one had gone bad.
I sauteed the onion til it softened. Then I added a few cloves of chopped garlic and some pepper and cooked it until the garlic became aromatic.
Then I added this beauty - a Parmesan rind. You can either save rinds of your Parmesan or buy them. I get mine at Whole Foods and they are very inexpensive. You can toss one into almost any soup, cook all the flavor in, then remove it right before serving. Yum!
I also added f four cups of chicken broth, but of course you could use vegetable broth if you'd rather. The recipe called for two chopped potatoes, but I was fresh out. So I threw in some of the Trader Joe's frozen mashed potatoes. And two bags of frozen artichoke hearts. I was very hungry and love leftovers, so I made a double batch.
I left that to simmer about a half hour. Then pulled out the rind and pureed the soup. My stick blender sadly died when I made crockpot soap with it, so I had to blend mine in my blender. Hot things in blenders always scare me so I was very careful. I just love my orange blender; I got it at a yard sale for fifteen bucks. And it is very powerful! Great for margaritas or smoothies.
And a little closer look, just for fun.
After blending I put it back in the pot. The recipes called for mascarpone or cream. I didn't have the first and didn't want the second. I was planning to use milk and plain Greek yogurt, but the yogurt had just expired. So I added about three quarters cup of skim milk and then maybe one quarter cup of half and half. (Sorry, but I never measure.) Then heated up the soup a little more. But don't let it boil.
Isn't it pretty with a little Parmesan resting on top? We had it with some crusty ciabatta and fresh cantaloupe. Great summer lunch!