To me, fresh artichokes in the store are the first sign of spring. They look bad all winter, but come March, they are the first thing to perk up. I have actually been waiting for them for awhile, because I had the idea for this soup. My sister always orders spinach and artichoke dip when we go out to eat. I made it into a soup for her.
Prepping the artichokes was the hardest part of the recipe. Good stuff on the right, bad stuff on the left. If I was super thrifty, I would make the stock for this soup out of the artichoke discards. That water with the artichoke hearts has lemon juice and salt in it.
After cooking some bacon, then onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in the bacon fat, I added the whole bowl of artichokes, water and all.
I blended this, but don't go too crazy, keep some stringy bits and choke leaves.
After adding cream and jack cheese, put in the spinach.
Top with the bacon set aside from earlier.
The bread is pita baked in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes with some olive oil and salt.
7 artichokes, trimmed, peeled, chokes removed, etc. You can use frozen too if you want.
2 cups water
In a large bowl, add 2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of salt, and the juice from 2 lemons. As you clean the artichokes, put them into the water so they don't brown too much. When you are done, the water should essentially be filled with pieces of artichoke. Don't throw any of the good stuff away. I use the yellow/pale leaves, but not the green ones. You can use the stalk too if you peel it. Just don't eat the choke!
1 small onion diced
3 ribs of celery diced
2 carrots diced
2 cloves garlic minced
6 peices of bacon, cut into small squares
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup cream
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
8oz jack cheese shredded
Cook the bacon, remove from pan when it is crispy, set aside. Add onion, carrot, and celery to the bacon fat. salt. Saute 5 minutes. Add garlic, saute 1 minute. pour in artichokes and all the water they are soaking in, also add the chicken stock. Bring to simmer and turn the heat down. Simmer for half hour. Blend with an immersian blender. It should be kinda smooth with some stringy bits and some leaf chunks. Add the cream. Bring to simmer. Whisk in the cheese slowly. add the spinach and remove from heat. Serve with some pita bread crisped in the oven with olive oil. Garnish with the reserved bacon.