Is this it? Is Spring finally here?
It’s faked us out a few times already this year, so I’m still a little skeptical….but I’m hoping that there won’t be any more snow. I’m ready for asparagus and strawberries and open windows and hanging out outside again.
One of my favorite things about spring (besides warmer weather and longer days) is that we can fire up the grill again and leave the heavy, starchy, warm meals of winter for lighter, brighter flavors. Don’t get me wrong – I love big pasta dishes and pot roast, but it’s so exciting to finally throw open the windows and toss together a huge salad with herbs and berries or grill some meat and veggies and call it dinner.
And for spring, I think I have 4 favorite foods: leeks, strawberries, asparagus, and artichokes. I wasn’t a huge fan of artichokes (unless they were cooked in cheese and served with chips) until the last few years when I finally tried them in some pasta and other dishes. They have such a subtle flavor and they’re exactly what I want this time of year.
I’ve been helping update some of Dixie Crystals‘ older recipes, and this soup is one of them. It didn’t need much updating, but I did cut most of the half and half out for some evaporated milk. It’s still a creamy soup, but not as heavy, and the little bit of brown sugar in this soup balances out the artichokes and zesty lemon perfectly.
I don’t know about you…but I’m ready to fully welcome in Spring. I think this soup will do just fine.
Cream of Artichoke Soup
Makes: 6 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 leek, sliced and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
- 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 12 ounces fat-free evaporated milk
- 4 ounces half and half
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives or dill, options
- Dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt, optional
- Additional lemon zest, optional
- Saute onion and leek in olive oil until soft. Stir in brown sugar and let it cook with vegetables for 1-2 minutes.
- Add drained artichoke hearts, garlic, lemon zest, chicken broth, pepper, salt, and white wine. Bring mixture to a simmer and let it cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
- Blend soup in a blender or food processor with evaporated milk and half and half. Return to pot once soup is smooth. If serving hot, keep warm over medium heat. If serving cold, let soup chill to room temperature before chilling in refrigerator. Top with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and fresh chives or dill before serving.
I have an ongoing partnership with Dixie Crystals. Opinions are my own.