Chilled Artichoke Soup?

Really. Who wants to eat hot soup on a day when the temperature is in the 90s?

I found a recipe for artichoke soup in a friend’s cookbook once and followed all the way to the end before I realized it was supposed to be a chilled soup.

Well I had no desire at that time to eat chilled soup, since it was the dead of winter. We added some potatoes to the soup and ate it hot.  It was so awesome, I vowed to myself that I would try it chilled, too.

It is just as good chilled, but I still have a hard time understanding the concept of a soup eaten cold. Here is my version of the recipe.

Chilled Artichoke Soup

1 tablespoon light olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

2 cups vegetable broth

salt and white pepper to taste

1 cup light cream (some people prefer sour cream, and that will do, too)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add thyme when onion is nearly done.  Add remaining ingredients except the cream. Bring to a boil, then let simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Use a hand blender to blend ingredients. Stir in cream. Chill for at least four hours.

Garnish each serving with dried cranberries and a thyme sprig.

When serving hot, I throw in a couple of peeled and diced potatoes and let them simmer with the artichokes. I skip the cooling, blending and chilling part. Just stir in the cream slowly when ready to serve, bring the soup back to nearly boiling, then serve.

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