I was perusing the latest issue of Saveur magazine when I came upon a recipe for cream of artichoke soup from a restaurant in California named Duarte's Tavern. It looked like the perfect thing for a 66 degree gorgeous winter's day in Austin. And of course I had to tweak it, so I made it a little less fattening, added some baby spinach leaves for a color burst and it turned out beautifully!
1 lb frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and roughly chopped
1 tbs butter plus 1 tsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup pinot grigio
Dash each of garlic and onion powder
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1/2 cup half and half
2 tbs corn starch mixed with 4 tbs cold watersalt and pepper to taste
lemon wedges, chive oil** and chives to garnish (I think some sour cream would be a tasty topping too)
** I make chive oil by crushing some chives in olive oil and soaking for 24 hours, then straining it into a bottle. Lasts 3 days.
Chop onions and garlic, and saute in melted butter and olive oil over medium low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add artichokes and saute about 3 minutes, then add wine, turn up heat and reduce to cook off alcohol- about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves and puree in a blender until smooth. Pour back into soup pot, stir in corn starch blend and half and half and cook on low about 40 minutes longer until the soup has reduced and thickened.
I made some gluten free chibe Brazilian rolls (available in the GF frozen section at my HEB) and brushed them with egg wash and sprinkled some 3 cheese Italian blend before baking. These things are so tasty!!!
I also learned a great tip about chopping chives from my Thomas Keller Ad Hoc cookbook. Simply wrap them in a moist paper towel and they don't slip around and stay in place! Just move the towel back as you chop away...
Once the soup was ready, I garnished, squeezed a little lemon juice on top, drizzled a little chive oil I had and served in warmed bowls with the chibe bread.
Chibe bread dunking...
And that was fabulous...