Sunday, August 25, 2013

Artichoke soup for a light lunch

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. 
Chopped onions

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.
Sauteed onions

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! 
Parmesan rind

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.
artichoke heart soup recipe

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.
Pureeing the soup

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!
Artichoke heart and parmesan rind soup

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