There’s just something about soup in the wintertime.

soup

Even when I lived in Hawaii, we had a few months of “winter” when it would cool down a little and the rains would come. I inevitably took advantage of the cooler weather and made soups and stews before the heat took over again.

Not only is a warm bowl of soup comforting when the outdoor temperatures are colder, but the natural seasonal cycles of our bodies make us crave warmer foods in the winter months.

Soup is also a great way to pack a lot of nutrition into a single meal! It’s amazing the amount of veggies and nutrients you can get into a single pot of soup.

I have always enjoyed soup, but I’ve always steered towards the cream based soups.

I grew up loving New England clam chowder and broccoli cheese soup.

It was only later in the life I realized just how high in calories and fat these soups are!

That left me with broth based soups, which, while they are ok, don’t get me nearly as excited as the creamy stuff.

This Potato Artichoke soup solved that dilemma for me and I’ve been making it ever since!

By using potatoes as the base of the soup and then blending it after cooking, you will get an amazing, hearty and creamy consistency without any added cream or butter.

It’s like a food miracle!

There are only three basic ingredients in this soup: potatoes, artichokes and leeks.

They come together to form soup nirvana.

If you’ve never cooked with leeks before, they are very easy to find and prepare! They are in the onion family and are very mild when cooked. I actually don’t like onions at all, and I’m fine with the leeks in this recipe.

To prepare the leeks, you will cut off the very bottom and also cut off where the green leaves start forming then throw these away. Fill a bowl with water. Cut the remaining leek into slices, and place all the slices in the bowl to wash thoroughly. Then take them out and lay them on a towel to dry until you are ready to use them.

potato artichoke soup

You want to clean the leek that way because they are grown in sandy soil, and the sand and dirt can get caught between the layers. Just a handy kitchen trick to know!

As I mentioned, the key to the creamy consistency is blending the soup after it’s been cooked. This is also why I use as little broth as possible. If you use too much, you will have a very liquid-y soup. Use just enough broth to cover the ingredients when cooking. You can always add more after blending.

One thing I recommend when blending is to use an immersion blender. I have put this soup into my Vitamix once and it did not turn out well. Potatoes can get very gummy and sticky when blended too much, and the power and speed of the Vitamix turned my creamy soup into paste. A food processor might work ok if you pulse it rather than full on blending.

Don’t go buy an immersion blender if you don’t have one! Just keep a close eye on your soup if using a blender and don’t go blending crazy.

This soup was one of the very first ways I was able to get my daughter to eat vegetables. I have even snuck in spinach and cooked broccoli for even more nutrients! Even at 18 months, she loved this and it was thick enough she could eat it with a spoon! She also loves crackers dipped in it.

I often times use it as a light lunch or dinner for myself. When feeding our whole family, I’ll sometimes serve some chicken breasts on the side for a protein boost.

Try something new this month and make a large pot of this delicious Potato Artichoke Soup! You’ll be amazed how delicious and filling something with such simple and healthy ingredients can be.

 

soup

Creamy Potato Artichoke Soup

Ingredients
  

  • 1 stalk leeks (will be about 1 cup after cleaning and chopping)
  • 4 cups cubed gold potatoes
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (in water)
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Heat a stock pot on the stove over medium high heat and drizzle with olive oil
  • Add the cubed potatoes, leeks and artichoke hearts and saute for five minutes (sprinkle with salt and pepper here)
  • Add enough broth to cover all ingredients and bring to a boil (you can use water here but broth will give more depth of flavor)
  • Lower to a simmer and simmer covered for 20-25 minutes (until potatoes are fork tender)
  • Let the mixture cool for ten minutes and then use an immersion blender to create a smooth and creamy consistency (see notes below about this!)
  • Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the soup and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste! You can serve as is or with some sharp cheddar cheese on top.
  • NOTE: I highly recommend using an immersion blender for this step. Potatoes can get very gummy if mixed too long. I used my Vitamix in one batch and the consistency was less than desirable! If you do use a blender go as little and as light as you can.
  • NOTE: If you prefer a chunkier soup, leave some chunks of artichokes and potatoes as you blend!