Top Chef Mymsie

Since my black bean stoup turned out so well last week, I decided to conjure up another recipe this week. I've been wanting to make a spinach and artichoke soup, so I read lots of different recipes. Most include cream or half and half. While that tastes SOOOO good, it's not so good for me, so I planned to use fat-free half and half instead. Then I decided I wanted to add cannellini beans for some oomph. Then I went back and forth about whether I'd saute a few pieces of bacon for flavor or use ground turkey breast. I decided on the bacon and at that point, imagined that adding fat-free half and half to what I'd envisioned might be yucky. Here's the final recipe I came up with:

  • Saute two pieces of bacon
  • Add chopped onion and garlic
  • Once onions are translucent, add one can of chopped artichoke hearts and 1 can of cannellini beans
  • Add a tablespoon or so of freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • After everything is incorporated and warmed through, deglaze with 32 ounces of chicken stock
  • Add sea salt, pepper, and dill to taste
  • Simmer
  • Add a few big handfuls of baby spinach
  • Cook until wilted

Let the record show that I'm a big spinach and arty fan, but this soup did not float my boat. It wasn't disgusting or anything, but it didn't wow me. I rinsed the 'chokes but they still tasted tinny and yuck, which kind of ruined everything. I'm sure it would be lots better with fresh arties. It would also be better with tons of cream, chicken, and maybe some tarragon. I'm unsure on the addition of the beans, too. Maybe rice or pasta would've been better. All told, it was a fun experiment but I learned that the cream is kind of a deal breaker in this recipe.

Also note that tonight is the season finale of Top Chef! I hope Harold wins…and then comes to my house…to serenade me and tickle my tootsies…and then gaze longingly at me with his piercing blue eyes…followed by showering me with back rubs and snuggles. 😀

P.S. For the record, the Cheesecake Factory sometimes serves an incredible creamy chicken and artichoke soup. It's so rich and lovely.

P.P.S. They also serve something called Fabulous Chocolate Mousse Cake and I would sell my first born for one piece.

P.P.P.S. I've also always wanted to try their fried macaroni and cheese. How can that not be good?


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