Saturday, September 8, 2012

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Soup

Summer is coming to a close and that means it is time to switch gears to fall and winter recipes. I think I'm a much better winter cook than summer cook. I love making heaping pots of soup, roasting meats and vegetables in the oven, and making hearty recipes that warm you up. I tend to stick to soups that have lots of "stuff" in them. I don't typically eat a soup that doesn't contain chunks of meat and vegetables. (You'll never see me eat a bowl of tomato soup or butternut squash soup - no matter how good it looks I just don't care for it!) So for me to say I absolutely LOVE this spinach artichoke soup, you know it must be AMAZING. I actually took the inspiration for this recipe from a WeightWatchers recipe. I know, I know, no need to roll your eyes. Trust me, though, it's awesome.

  • 1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 10oz fresh spinach
  • 1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 can chilled full fat coconut milk (cream separated from the water***)
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven. Saute the onions until they begin to become translucent. Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute or so until fragrant. Add the spinach and artichoke hearts and saute for an additional 2 minutes until spinach begins to wilt.
  2. Add 3 cups of vegetable or chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk cream. (It may look a little gross at this point, but trust me, you're on the right track.) Let cool for 5-10 minutes and add to a blender. Blend to desired consistency.
***When either left sitting alone long enough, or chilled in the fridge, coconut milk will naturally separate with the creamy solids rising to the top and the clear water gathering in the bottom. DON'T SHAKE UP YOUR CAN OF COCONUT MILK! Carefully open the top and spoon the creamy portion into a small bowl. You should be left with about 1 cup of creamy solids which we'll use to make the soup "creamy" (you can do whatever you like with the leftover water). I promise the soup won't taste like coconuts.

  1. This soup freezes well and reheats like a champ. Don't be afraid to make a little extra for instant warm gratification on a yucky day.
  2. If you do dairy, you can add some parmesan cheese to the mix which will almost make the soup reminiscent of spinach artichoke dip. Stir in about 1/2 cup grated when you add the coconut cream, or throw in a few pieces of the rind when you add the broth. If you add rind, don't forget to fish them out of the pot before blending.
  3. The soup tastes really great with chicken. You can either drop in a few pieces of steamed or grilled chicken, or use the soup as a sauce for boneless, skinless chicken breast.

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