Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spinach and Artichoke Soup

Today, sadly, is a cold, rainy, unpleasant day. I had originally planned to make a chicken caesar salad for my lunch, but after experiencing a bit of that weather on my way back from Liberty earlier today, I knew it was a soup day. And not just any soup would do; I wanted something creamy and comforting. A glance into my cupboard inspired me - there, I saw three cans of artichoke hearts that I had purchased the last time I bought groceries. The resulting creation was too delicious to keep to myself, so I'm sharing the recipe here:

Stephanie's Spinach and Artichoke Soup

4 tablespoons reduced-fat butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small white onions
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
Three cans artichoke hearts
5 cups fat free milk
3 1/2 tablespoons chicken soup base
1 heaping tablespoon chervil leaf (you can use parsley if you don't have chervil - I like chervil better than parsley)
1 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning (I used McCormick "Perfect Pinch" Garlic & Herb Seasoning)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves (baby spinach is always the best fresh spinach)
2 cups 2% mozzarella cheese
8 oz fat free sour cream
2 heaping tablespoons whole wheat flour
3/4 cup water
Grated parmesan-romano cheese

In a large pot, place the butter and the olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat. While the butter is melting, finely chop both of the onions (I used my electric chopper). As soon as the butter has melted, stir in the onions and the minced garlic. While the onions and garlic are cooking, finely chop the artichoke hearts. Once they're chopped, add them to the mixture. Give the onions, garlic, and artichoke hearts a couple of minutes to cook together in the butter and oil mixture. Next, add the milk and the chicken soup base (you'll want to turn down the heat to medium at this point). Stir the mixture well, then add in the seasoning and chervil. While all this is cooking together, pulverize the spinach leaves in an electric chopper, then add them and stir well. Allow the soup to come to a low boil, then stir in the cheese and the sour cream. Let it cook for about five or six minutes. While this is going on, stir the flour into the water, then add to the soup. Turn the heat down to medium low and let the soup cook for another five to six minutes. When you serve the soup, put a few pinches of the grated parmesan-romano cheese on top.

This soup is rich and creamy, but not too fattening (since I use olive oil rather than lots of butter, you get a little bit of the flavor needed from butter, but with the benefit of the omega-3s and mono-unsaturated fat from olive oil; the bulk of the fat comes from the cheese, which is not terribly high in fat since it is made from 2% milk). This soup is rich in vitamins from the vegetables, has high calcium and protein from the milk and cheese, and is very filling. I expect to get about six to eight meals out of it; maybe more if I use half a bowl as an appetizer for a few meals. It would go very well with some sourdough bread, which, unfortunately, I cannot have.

Bon appetite!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,

Regina here, for

I would like to personally invite you to list your blog on our Expat Women Blog Directory ( so that other women can read about and learn from your expat experiences.

Many thanks in advance for your contribution and keep up your great blog!


"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"