Don’t you hate it when you are about to hug someone you are really into and your face hits the mirror? I do. Too many people take themselves for granted so I am currently trying to surprise myself with a romantic dinner but the chicken I am roasting is taking longer than anticipated to come up to temperature.
OK, maybe I do need a girlfriend. Any girls out there enjoy photographing other people’s food?
I don’t think I could cook anything without my trusty food thermometer. I lean on it like a pirate on his wooden leg. It says I have another 15 degrees to go before the meat is safe for consumption which gives me plenty of time to get started on this new blog post.
Basil Artichoke Soup is probably my favorite soup, and it is a Fox Valley Foodie original. I’ve been meaning to share the recipe with you guys for a number of months now, but I just don’t make soup very often during the summertime. This is an excellent everyday soup, but it is certainly luxurious enough to highlight a special occasion… even if it is an occasion you just made up to cook something special for yourself.
To make this soup you will need the following:
14.5oz can Artichoke hearts, drained
½ cup sundried tomatoes, julienned
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups Chicken Stock
½ cup chopped Basil
1 cup Milk
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
Yields 4-8 servings
In a large pot add chicken stock, artichoke hearts, dried tomatoes and garlic. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.
In a small saucepan gently melt the cream cheese with a splash of milk. Mix this periodically to incorporate together. Once the cream cheese is melted whisk smooth to remove any lumps and slowly add remaining milk until fully combined. Then add ½ of the basil to the mixture. Next, ladle soup broth into the mixture to further bring up the temperature and then combine with soup. Following this paragraph closely will ensure the cream cheese combines with the soup rather than breaking into thousands of little clumps.
Finally, mix in butter, lemon juice, remaining basil and season to taste.
Of course, soup by itself is never enough. Soup and a sandwich is a classic love story just like Romeo and Juliet, but instead of killing themselves the soup and sandwich just gets eaten. It is a much better ending.
I like to pair gourmet chicken sandwiches with my Basil Artichoke Soup. Typically, I prefer to roast a chicken and remove the skin which I then re-bake to make nice crispy, salty, cracklings! Cracklings are quite possibly better than even bacon on a sandwich!
To finish the sandwich I shred the meat, whip up some Lemon Thyme Mayo (mixture of lemon juice, thyme and mayo to taste), sauté onions, and top everything with freshly grated parmesan cheese. This is then served hot on a toasted French baguette to my biggest fan, me.
I love to hear feedback, so please let me know what you think if you try this recipe!