Spinach Artichoke Soup

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Whenever we go out to restaurants, my eyes glance at the Appetizers section and I always pause at the ‘Spinach Artichoke Dip’. I’ve tried making it at home for a quick fix – you can find the recipe here. The ooey, gooey, cheesy picture on the restaurant menus never fails to tempt and tantalize me. I know that if I have it as the appetizer, I most likely would have to call my meal done there, due to the amount of calorie/fat content in that, and I always pass.

One such day, as I settled for a salad and soup in our restaurant visits, I promised myself that I would make a healthy version of this dish with about the same flavors. As I was thinking about this, I saw the ‘Sandwich King’ on Food Network, where this guy turns any dish into a sandwich, and I thought, I should be able to turn any dish into a soup. It is much simpler and thats how this beautiful soup came to be.

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It is a very quick and easy dish to put together. I have used canned artichoke hearts that are packed in water. Frozen artichoke hearts would make a better option, but be careful not to buy the marinated artichoke hearts that come packed in oil. I have also used baby spinach leaves, which has given the soup a vibrant green color. I recommend using fresh spinach and not frozen for this soup.

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Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 pound spinach, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts, packed in water, rinsed and chopped
3 cups vegetable/chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk/half n half/cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
Salt to taste

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Method:
Heat oil in a pan and add in the chopped onion and garlic. Saute until translucent and soft. Add in the spinach and toss around until it just wilts. Next add in the drained/rinsed/chopped artichoke hearts. Add the vegetable/chicken stock. Let this come to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Do not cook the soup more than this, or you will lose the pretty green color of the spinach. Switch off stove.

Transfer contents to a blender, or using an immersion blender puree the soup. Return the soup to the pot and add in parmesan cheese, nutmeg, thyme, white pepper powder and salt to taste. Add in the milk/cream/half n half. Let the soup come to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of cream!

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Verdict: This was an amazingly smooth and vibrant soup, filling and nutritious. It had all the flavors of a spinach artichoke dip without the guilt. This soup made for a perfect spring dinner with its lovely color and amazing flavor.

Sending this to ‘Dish name starts with S’ and Mission -Soup hosted by My Cooking Journey and CookCookandCook and Thoushaltcook.

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