Blame the blustery, snowy New England weather. But all I want to do is curl up on the couch, sipping tea with a good book or watching a great movie. When the weather turns chilly, nothing warms you up like a hearty bowl of soup.
This weekend, I watched Giada at Home with my fave celeb chef, Giada De Laurentiis. She makes incredibly delish dishes that are easy to veganize. She whipped up an Artichoke and Fresh Mint Soup with ingredients she had lying around her house. Hmmm…I was skeptical. Would I have these alleged common ingredients?? Celery. Check. Veggie broth (she used chicken broth). Check check. Canned artichokes. Triple check! I actually had all the ingredients except an onion, which I usually keep on hand, and fresh mint, which I’ve never bought before. But I should so I can make mojitos…mmmm….mojitos….yum!
I love artichokes. I usually devour them in pasta (like this Artichoke & Olive Pasta) and salads. But I’m always looking for more ways to eat them. This might be one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. You saute some veggies. Add broth and more veggies. Simmer. And then toss it all into a blender. And voila…soup! When hot, this soup is perfect in the winter. Yet it would also be ideal served chilled in the summer. Somehow it’s both light AND hearty.
Artichoke hearts possess a unique flavor: delicate, nutty and with a little tang slightly reminiscent of vinegar. Sautéed onions and celery are always the perfect base for soups. The pungent fresh mint bursts with a crisp sweetness. And the citrus of the lemon juice brightens the whole dish.
If you like spinach and artichoke dip, you’re going to love this creamy yet refreshing soup.
Giada’s Artichoke & Fresh Mint Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth (extra if needed)
12-ounces frozen or canned artichoke hearts, thawed or drained
1 packed cup fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, salt and pepper. Saute for about 4 minutes or until tender.
2. Add veggie broth and artichoke hearts. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 12 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat. In a food processor or blender, puree soup with spinach and mint.
4. Return purée soup to pan. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon into soup. Stir thoroughly. Heat soup and add more veggie broth to thin if needed.