Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Creamy Artichoke, Potato and Spinach Soup

When we were in college, my brother would invite me over to his apartment to eat. Eager to escape dorm food, I'd go to his place for what he called a "Garbage Plate." It usually consisted of whatever was in the refrigerator. Perhaps some tator tots with a side of mac and cheese along with hot dogs and, of course, a beer.

After days of recipe testing for a huge cooking party I'm doing this weekend, my refrigerator is stocked with great ingredients. So I came up with my own sort of "Garbage Soup." Except unlike its Garbage-y name, it's delicious. Here's what I did:

1. Chop one bunch green onions.

2. Heat a heavy bottomed stock pot. When hot, add two tablespoons (about two laps around the base of the pot) of olive oil.

3. When the olive oil is hot, add the chopped green onions.

4. Peel and thinly slice one potato and add it to the pot.

5. Chop two cloves garlic and toss them in.

6. Add one 12 oz bag thawed frozen artichoke hearts. (I used a couple artichoke hearts for another recipe so 10 oz is fine. Remember, it's "Garbage Soup" - use what you've got.)

7. I had a handful of fresh spinach so I threw it in. You can too!

8. When the potatoes soften, cover the vegetables with vegetable or chicken broth. Bring the ingredients to a boil then cover and let them simmer for about 20 minutes.

9. I happened to have about an ounce of goat cheese. So when the vegetables were cooked, I plopped it in.

10. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

11. Enjoy!

What crazy "Garbage Plates" have you discovered out of leftovers?



  1. What fun! I just did that sort of thing today. Tried to follow a chicken stew recipe but did't have half the ingredients. Sooo I looked in the fridge and "found stuff" that I thought would go well together. I think that is a finer inner cooking sense that if you really are a foodie is in your genes :0)
    or jeans?

  2. Making soup is like quilting, anything goes! All decisions are yours according to your whims.

    When all the kids were still living at home, I put pretty much all dinner leftovers into a container in the freezer. When the container was full, I started a pot of soup by sauteing some onions and celery, added chicken or turkey stock, or canned tomatoes; threw in the chopped up leftovers. Somehow it always turned out well.

    Now that it's just two of us, I buy ingredients for soup, because you need a certain amount of fresh things: onions, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach and maybe some Italian sausage. We eat at least one big pot of soup each week.