Vegetarian Times’ Garlicky Leek & Artichoke Soup
Whenever I get my new issues of Vegetarian Times or VegNews in the mail, the first thing I do is check out all the recipes and mark what I want to try. Unfortunately I usually forget all about them in the chaos of Saturday baking, and then I find myself at our Farmers’ Market booth on Sunday with no meal plan or list of ingredients that I need to buy.
I’m trying to be better about that, and this past week I actually brought my Vegetarian Times with me so I could make a list once our booth was set up. It helped that I knew it was going to be a busy week, and I really only needed to plan two dinners. I thought I’d try this soup for one of them, since it seemed easy to make and I love me some good, creamy soup!
If you like Artichokes, you’ll love this soup. The garlic and leek flavors come through, but not nearly as strong as the artichoke flavor. I did use an extra two ounces of artichokes, but I think even without that they’d be the most predominant flavor. We ate this with toasted sourdough bread that we spread with Earth Balance, and it made for a really nice (and light) warming dinner.
Garlicky Leek and Artichoke Soup
Serves 6 / Gluten Free
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium leeks, white parts chopped (2 cups)
9 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 10-oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed OR 2 9.9-oz. jars water-packed artichokes hearts, rinsed and drained
2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (3/4 cup)
6 fresh thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic, and saute 5 minutes, or until leeks are softened and translucent. Add broth, artichokes, potatoes, thyme and 2 cups water; cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; season with salt and pepper and simmer, partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until potatoes and garlic are very tender.
Remove thyme sprigs, and strip remaining thyme leaves into soup pot. Transfer soup to blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Return to pot and stir in lemon juice. Taste again for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish each with 1 tablespoon pesto.
Notes: I used frozen artichokes for this, and probably a little bit more leek and potato than called for. The measurements don’t have to be exact by any means. I also used a bouillon cube instead of prepared broth. For the pesto I used dairy-free pesto from Basiltops, and if you don’t have any pesto don’t let that stop you from making this. It’s good on it’s own too!