Lunchbox – easy, no prep, Artichoke soup

Okie dokie artichokie. Let’s make some soup.

I hardly ever eat artichokes, but that’s not because I don’t like them. In fact, artichokes on pizza (alongside olives and rocket) is heaven on a crust if you ask me! Instead, what puts me off is the ridiculously extensive prep. Or as I like to call it:

FAFF.

artichokes
Photo taken from the diario de gastronomia website

Never prepped an artichoke before? Well, according to BBC Good Food, this is how it works:

  1. Snap back tough outer leaves until you begin to expose the pale yellow ones. Rub all cut surface with lemon juice as you go.
  2. Trim top off and pare down the leaves which cover the base of the heart.
  3. Use a teaspoon to remove the fibrous ‘choke’ buried in the centre.

 

I went ahead and highlighted all my issues with this process:

  • Tough – this suggests a struggle, which I’m not up for.
  • Rub all cut surface with lemon juice as you go – all of it? You mean cut, rub, repeat for the whole thing? No.
  • Pare down – I don’t know what this means.
  • Remove the fibrous ‘choke’ (which is buried)– removing the choke is something I feel I could do, however ‘buried’ is not for me. Buried means it’s not up for being removed, which means force is required, which in turn means I’m likely to fling fibrous choke at the ceiling. This is the kinda crap my kitchen just cannot take.
  • Discard – that means mess. Thank you, but no.

 

The result (if you’re foolish enough to tackle the above)?

One artichoke heart.

That’s an issue in itself. We need 400g of the pesky little things.

 

So, understandably, I don’t prep them myself. I’m all up for eating them, they’re delightful, but ask me to prep one and I’m off.

Artichoke soup-19
All the yum, none of the FAFF.

But Sam, you’ve just made artichoke soup?

Yes dear reader, I have indeed. And do you wanna know how I managed?

I used TINNED artichoke hearts.

Yes I know, tinned vegetables are often best left on the shelf (I mean tinned peas actually taste murky and green) but here’s the thing. You’re all busy important people doing busy important things. Your Tuesday night to-do list likely doesn’t include hacking away at an artichoke to remove the ‘fibrous choke’. And why should it?

It really shouldn’t.

What you hard working adulting pros deserve is a yummy, scrummy, healthy lunch that is easy to make, requires no FAFF whatsoever and tastes god darn delicious. And tinned artichokes are how you’re going to do it.

 

Artichoke soup-2
Creamy. Tick. Delicious. Tick.

Pop them in a blender, add some fluffy potatoes for that thick velvety texture, a little milk (plant-based or dairy both work well), some salt and pepper because ALWAYS, a sprinkle of herbs, and lots of lovely garlic, and you’re sorted.

Deliciously creamy artichoke soup, without the FAFF.

 

Tins my friends. Can we get a round of applause?

 

To the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 400g tins artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained.
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200g potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (or a tsp dried rosemary)
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 100ml milk of your choice – I used almond milk
  • Good pinch of salt and pepper
  • Parsley, for serving

Serves 4 – 6 (but freezes well)

 

Sauce options

None. It’s soup.

 

Vegetarian options

Parmesan shavings | Crispy parmesan skins | Crumbled feta | Sour cream or natural yoghurt

 

Meat and fish options

Pan fried lardons | Pan fried chorizo | Cod or monkfish (cut into large pieces and steamed separately – similar to a fish stew)

 

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan and add the onion. Cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften, then add the rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes more.
  2. Add the potatoes, followed by the stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, pop the lid on and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potato is soft.
  3. Add the artichokes and almond milk and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until hot through. Keep an eye on the pan to ensure the milk doesn’t boil over.
  4. Using either a handheld blender or a heat resistant blender, blitz all the ingredients until completely smooth. If you don’t have a heat resistant blender, simply allow the soup to cool and then blitz – be careful not to add when hot as this can crack some blenders.
  5. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, a little parsley and a good grind of pepper to serve.

 

Samantha x

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