Every month when I receive my Bon Appetit magazine in the mail, I read through it and tear out any recipes that are interesting to me...whether or not they are healthy. Then when I make the recipe I decide if it needs any nutritional "tweaking". In September I found a recipe for Artichoke Soup with Pesto and knew I would have to make it once the weather got a little cooler.
Well, the cool weather has arrived and I made the soup...all I can say is its delicious and easy! (Unless you don't like artichokes...and in that case don't bother making it).
I made a few changes and used my own pesto (which I keep frozen in "pesto cubes"). You could also buy store-bought pesto...my favorite brand is Alessi and I can find it in most stores near the marinara (some store-bought pesto is so gross...read the ingredients and watch out for those that shouldn't be there - you should find basil, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt). If you want to save calories, just leave the pesto out (my sister prefers it this way). One tablespoon of store-bought pesto has 50 - 75 calories and 5 or more grams of fat.
If you use canned artichokes, taste the soup before seasoning with salt...canned vegetables already have added salt (it might be a good idea to rinse them).
Make sure when you puree the hot soup, you don't seal the blender completely...leave the lid cracked to allow steam to escape, but cover it with a kitchen towel to prevent splattering.
I think the soup would be good topped with whole wheat croutons. Cube a few slices of whole wheat bread and toast on a baking sheet until golden brown. You could also follow this recipe and toast them in a skillet (I would cut back on the oil...maybe 1 1/2 tablespoons). Toasted almonds might be a good topping as well. I need a little crunch!
adapted from Bon Appetit
Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 8-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and chopped or 2 15-ounce cans, drained and chopped
2 1/2 cups (or more) low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
salt and pepper
pesto (good but optional)
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add artichokes and 2 1/2 cups broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until artichokes are soft, about 7 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth (see note above). Return to saucepan and thin with additional broth by 1/4 cupfuls if desired. Season soup with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls; drizzle with pesto if using.
Per serving (without the pesto) - 81 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 8 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 5 g protein (exchanges: ½ fat, 2 vegetable)
P.S. I'm hoping I get a good camera for Christmas so that I can take pics of what I cook and post them! Dad are you reading this?