Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hot Dog Boy's favorite artichoke potato soup recipe

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I have two sons. One is a true gourmet: reads cookbooks for fun, makes specific lunchbox requests, plans menus weeks in advance. The other would eat hot dogs for every meal if allowed.

So which son counts this artichoke potato soup among his favorite dishes ever? Surprisingly, it's Hot Dog Boy. The first time I made artichoke soup I fully expected him to take his "no thank you bite" and push his bowl away. Instead he powered through his serving and asked for seconds. And thirds.

Was it the croutons? The lemon? Some biological imperative compelling him to take in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese, all of which artichokes supply? Who knows. Whatever the reason, artichoke soup is a reliable way to get vegetables into Hot Dog Boy. And the rest of the family likes it too.

When I make artichoke soup, Hot Dog Boy is my "taster tester." After I puree it, we both taste, and he decides how much lemon, salt and pepper to add. He is exacting: "It needs a touch more acid," he is known to say. Hot Dog Boy has quite a refined palate for someone who prefers to exist on processed meat products.

Don't bother peeling the potato; this isn't one of those refined smooth-as-silk soups. This is a weeknight soup, thick and hearty and healthy. Substitute vegetable stock or even water for the chicken stock and presto!, you've got a vegan soup. And if you don't own a hand-held immersion blender, you can certainly puree the soup in a regular countertop blender, but wow, what a pain in the neck. Spend the $30 and get the stick blender. You won't be sorry.

Artichoke potato soup
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
  • 3 boxes frozen artichoke hearts (no need to defrost)
  • 1 large or two small Idaho potatoes, unpeeled, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • croutons or fried onions, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the onion. Sweat the onion about 5 minutes, until it's translucent; try not to let it brown, but if it does, it's not the end of the world. Add the artichoke hearts, potato and chicken stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the soup about 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft.

Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. Add half the lemon juice, some salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and taste. Adjust the seasonings until you're satisfied. Serve hot, topped with croutons or fried onions.

12 comments:

Diane {Created by Diane} said...

sounds great to me, I love artichokes and soup!!!

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious said...

I am sooooooo going there. Maybe tomorrow!
Need to get some arti's and this baby is done!

elpi said...

Although I have never tasted this one, I'd love to try making them. what a comfort food:)

Katie said...

I discovered this blog not 10 minutes ago, and between this and the garlic knots, I think I'm in love. You had me at "frozen artichokes." Looking forward to doing some more exploring around the site!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I've never heard of artichoke soup. Fun. Have you ever tried hearts of palm? It's really yummy and I reminds me of an artichoke.

ps. I would totally eat hot dogs every day. I love them.

saltyseattle said...

lololol, hot dog boy. those boys are so great- you're a lucky mama. and this would very likely be amongst my favorites too, E.

btw- wanted to let you know i think you are a special person who contributes a ton to this community. love, linda

Erika said...

@Diane & Dorothy - thanks and come back to tell me whether you like it!

@elpi - interesting. I have never thought of artichokes as comfort food per se. But I do really love this soup.

@Katie - so glad you found me, and welcome!

@Da - I've eaten hearts of palm in salad but never cooked. Can you make soup out of them too? Also, me too on the hot dogs. I love them. Sauerkraut and mustard, I'm a New Yorker no matter where I live.

@Linda - that is a lovely thing to say. Thank you. You made my day. And you know I feel the same!

Cookin' Canuck said...

I love it when my kids' taste buds surprise me. I can certainly see why your son enjoys this soup so much.

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious said...

Made it and it is delicious! Sprinkled capers on top -- try that! Thank you, Erika! (Husband did blanch at the cost of the artichokes...something like $5 per package, and it takes 3 packages. That just goes to show you should only send others to the store for you when they can stand the heat!)

Erika said...

@Dorothy - capers are a great idea! And the artichokes are definitely not that much at Bob's Market where I shop (17th and Ocean Park in Santa Monica). Maybe $3.79? Where did your husb go, Gelson's?

Elizabeth said...

I have been following you for a couple months. I have a food blog as well, www.ElizabethAkre.com. Would it be ok with you if I link this entry on your blog in one of my posts?

Erika said...

@Elizabeth - it's so nice to meet you. Your blog looks great. I can't wait to dive in and read more (when I'm not at work!). I would be honored to have you link to this post. Thank you!

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