Hye Thyme Cafe: Creamy Artichoke Soup

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Creamy Artichoke Soup

Creamy Artichoke Soup : Hye Thyme Cafe

It has been so cold this week, soup sounded like a really good idea for dinner. I usually make lentil or vegetable soup, but I had artichokes on the brain, so I decided to go with that. I opted to attempt a somewhat healthier version and skipped the cream, potatoes, or cream cheese in favor of  Northern Beans as my thickener. I like them for their creamy texture and slightly buttery taste.

INGREDIENTS :
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 heaping t jarred minced garlic with hot peppers
2 shallots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
4 cans artichokes, drained and rough chopped 
   (reserve some for garnish)
1 can Northern beans, rinsed and drained
32 oz chicken broth
2 T grated Parmesan
2 t lemon juice
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 scallion, sliced thin - for garnish




 
Sauté the garlic, celery, and shallots in the olive oil and butter until soft and the shallots just begin to brown. You don't need to be precise in chopping the veggies since everything will be pureed anyhow. 






Add the artichokes and beans to the pot, stirring in enough chicken broth  to cover. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until tender, about 20" or so.  



I did not use all of the broth at this point because it's easier to thin something later than to thicken it if you used too much, but as it turned out, I did end up using the rest. Another factor affecting how much liquid is needed is your brand of artichokes. I noticed that the Cento seemed to have a lot more packed into it than the brand I usually buy, so depending on what store I'm shopping in, I may need to adjust.


Once everything is nice and tender, go ahead and puree, either using an immersion blender, or doing it in batches in your blender or food processor. Just be sure that if you use the blender or food processor, you leave the vent open for steam.  


You can test whether the veggies are ready by eating an outer piece of one of the artichoke leaves. If it still feels a little stringy/fibrous, give it a few more minutes. While you are pureeing is a good time to add more broth. Here is where I also added in the Parmesan and lemon juice.

Return the soup to the pot, stir in a sprinkling of cayenne, and bring back up to temperature. To serve, ladle into bowl and top with some reserved chopped artichoke and a sprinkling of scallion.

Creamy Artichoke Soup : Hye Thyme Cafe



11 comments:

  1. i absolutely love artichokes! This soup sounds wonderful. I wonder why I've never had artichoke soup.

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  2. I'm definitely making this! I don't believe I ever had northern beans but if you say they make the soup thick I'm all for it!

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  3. Danielle - I made Giada D's version last year when I made those crazy oyster crackers, but it didn't have enough artichoke taste for me. She used mascarpone in hers.

    Michele - I have read in several places about using beans as a thickener. I just hadn't tried it until now. The Northern beans are so mild, they don't detract from the artichoke flavor.

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  4. Wow and easy peasy recipe! I like! I'll be on the lookout for the link later today.

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    1. Thanks Kenya! I keep checking between reading TALU posts, but nothing yet. See, I managed to throw in a recipe that didn't include beef for you. ;)

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  5. Ok, never would have thought to use artichokes for soup, but I grew up eating them stuffed and also the marinated hearts. And how I love them so, so this recipe definitely sounds like something I would love. Thanks for sharing!! #TALU

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    1. Oooh, I love Stuffed Artichokes. Here what I do if you're interested ... http://hyethymecafe.blogspot.com/2010/12/stuffed-artichokes.html

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  6. This looks so good and comforting--perfect after the gigantic blizzard we've just had in Connecticut.

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    1. Ah, yes it certainly would! I'm in central NY - we got off pretty easy that day, but it was like carmageddon yesterday trying to get to work - everything had iced over. I got stuck behind two accidents and passed eight more!

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  7. Yum! I love soup, but so rarly make it. This one seems so easy, and I love soups with Northern beans. I shall give it a try!
    I voted. You're doing quite well!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, I love Northern Beans. I'm not really a bean person, but I can't imagine anyone not liking those! Nice and creamy and kinda buttery. :)

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