Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lemon Artichoke Soup

If you had told me a year ago that one of my favorites soups would be lemon artichoke soup I would have given you an odd smile and said, in a long drawn out Southern accent, "Sure it will be honey" and walked away wondering what the hell you were talking about.  Soup is made of hearty vegetables, stew meat and beans....not artichokes and lemons!  

Alas, I was proven wrong in the way these things most often occur in my life.  I was presented with a lunch at work provided by a caterer I knew to be fantastic for a lunch held by my boss....as basic etiquette dictates there was no way I was leaving that lunch without cleaning my plate. I thought for sure I would have to choke down the soup as it surely couldn't be something I would enjoy even though I love artichokes and lemons....don't ask, I am weird when it comes to some things....well most things, but I digress...

It took one bite for me to fall in love, for me to totally re-evaluate all I had ever know or thought about soups.  It was life changing!  Well not quite that dramatic but it was amazing!  I went in search of a recipe that would be comparable and combined a few to come up with the following...

Lemon Artichoke Soup

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced carrots
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups chopped artichoke hearts
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
3 cups half and half
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic; cook until the onion and garlic are translucent. 
 
Stir in the chicken broth, artichoke hearts, salt, and pepper and simmer 10 minutes. 
 
 
Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth; return the mixture to the saucepan (I used my immersion blender instead and it worked perfectly). Squeeze one lemon half into the pan. 
 
Place the other lemon half into the saucepan. 
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer another 10 minutes. 
Remove the lemon half from the pan and pour in the half and half; stir. 
Continue to simmer until thoroughly heated, about 10 minutes.

Serve immediately!
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