Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Vegan Version of Ellie Krieger's Velvety Artichoke Soup and Souper Sundays is Back with a Linkup!

It's been a breezy and busy week with work projects, a wind storm that peeled the top layer my roof back Tuesday night (only some external damage thankfully), and house guests that arrived the following day--so although I made this soup earlier in the week, the is the first chance I have had to post it. We are focused on soups, curries, stews, and other meals-in-bowls this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs so I made a vegan and lower-sodium version of Ellie Krieger's Velvety Artichoke Soup.

I made changes to Ellie's recipe (noted in red below)--mainly cutting out the dairy (milk and cheese) for my current eating goals and using diluted low sodium veggie broth instead of water and other measures for reducing the salt/sodium. As written, this soup clocks in at 830 mg of sodium for a 2-cup serving--which if you were to compare to a canned soup (which might have 800 mg or more for a 1/2 cup serving) it isn't bad, but it's pretty high for one dish/one meal (equaling about 36% of the recommended regular guidelines of 2,300 mg of sodium a day and 55% for anyone on a reduced-sodium diet.)  

To keep the flavor while reducing the salt, I added an extra clove of garlic, lemon juice, and replaced the cheese with nutritional yeast. Replacing the dairy which has a lot of natural sodium with non-dairy alternatives also helps, as does diluting the broth--in my opinion commercial veggie stock is usually too heavy anyway, so I habitually dilute it with water. With those changes, I reduced the sodium by more than half and got it down to a very respectable 364 mg per 2-cup serving. (If you are wondering how I figure that, I use an app where I can input a recipe--even scanning the bar codes of prepared items that will show the nutritional data.) Although I am sure that my tastes have shifted to not need as much salt over the years, I think this soup still has plenty of flavor and I don't miss the extra sodium at all. This is in no way a knock to Ellie, she does a great job with her recipes and the American palate is trained to want salt, I just come from a family history of heart disease and I am ultra vigilant about controlling sodium where I have control--in the food I make at home. (Steps down from sodium soapbox now...) ;-)

Velvety Artichoke Soup
Adapted from
(Serves 4)

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used low sodium vegetable broth, diluted w/ water)
3 Tbsp olive oil (I reduced to 2 Tbsp)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic (I used 3 cloves)
1 medium white potato (about 5 oz)
1/4 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
two (9-oz) packages frozen artichoke hearts
3/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 oz Manchego or Parmesan cheese  (I used 2 Tbsp used nutritional yeast)
1 cup 2% milk (I used lite coconut milk)

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium (3-quart) covered saucepan over high heat. While the broth is heating, heat the oil in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat. 

Meanwhile, chop the onion. Add the onion to the saucepan and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. While the onion is cooking, mince the garlic and peel and dice the potato into 1/2-inch dice. Add the garlic to the saucepan and cook for 1 minute. 
Stir in the sherry or wine, then add the potatoes, artichokes, salt, pepper and hot broth to the pot. Cover and return to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes have softened, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, finely grate the cheese.

Remove the soup from the heat, stir in the milk, then puree in 3 batches in a blender, transferring the puree to the saucepan that held the broth. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender.) Heat the puree over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Add the cheese and stir until melted, 30 seconds. Season with additional salt, if desired.

Nutritional Data: (Per 2 Cup Serving): Ellie's version: Calories 320; Total Fat 18g (Sat Fat 4.5g, Mono Fat 9.5g, Poly Fat 1.5g); Protein 15g; Carb 27g; Fiber 9g; Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 830mg. Deb's version: Calories: 239; Total Fat 11.6g (Sat Fat 3.9g Mono Fat 5g, Poly Fat .7g); Protein: 7.3g; Carbs 25.7; Fiber: 10g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium: 364mg

Notes/Results: A simple but lovely and satisfying creamy soup. I love the tangy flavor of the artichoke hearts and lemon and the richness from the coconut milk and nutritional yeast. I found I did not miss the extra salt at all, so I would encourage you to taste as you go and add some lemon before adding in the salt in the recipe--you may very well find you don't need it either. This soup makes a nice lunch or would be a great starter for dinner on a cool night. I would make it again.

You can see all of the Bowled Over dishes--soups, stews, curries and such that everyone made this week by checking out the picture links on the IHCC post. 


***Souper Sundays Link-Up***

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have been slowly coming back to making soups and have been missing seeing the wonderful soups, salads and sandwiches that everyone makes each week at my weekly Souper Sundays event

Since the Souper Sundays formal roundup was such a big time investment on Sundays, I am trying something new, with a picture link-up post every Sunday that participants can link their soups, salads, and sandwiches to throughout the week. Since I like the community aspect of a roundup, going forward I will feature a few dishes that were linked up the week before with each new post.

To join in:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month) on the picture link below for the current week and leave a comment below.

  •  On your entry post (on your blog):
    • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
    • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

  •  Linkups will be open until midnight (PST) Saturday each week. 

Everyone is welcome--hope you join in the fun!


  1. Hooray for Souper Sundays! I am glad to see it return:)

    You bring up a good point with sodium intake. We use way, way, way too much salt in my house and it's something I need to work on. My mom and I both have very low blood pressure and act like it gives us the right to go wild with the salt shaker. In truth, too much salt is no good for anyone.

    I'm loving this creamy artichoke soup. Looks very elegant and chic!

  2. Deb, this artichoke soup looks so velvety and yummy!

  3. Totally with you in lowering the amount of salt. Agree that you won't miss it. Liking and learning all the changes you could adjust to make this soup super duper good for our health.

  4. Hi Deb,
    A good idea with less salt. We could all do with low sodium! I have never tried artichoke hearts. Have seen lots of recipes using it. I would love to try it if I can find it!
    Glad to see Souper Sundays is back! I've linked up. I like your new linky feature! :)

  5. Yay!! Now I'm going to have to remember this!!

  6. THIS looks so good. I have never made soup with artichokes. Interesting.


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