Surprisingly, it only takes a handful of ingredients and just a few minutes to make this impressively decadent and sophisticated spinach artichoke soup. What's even more surprising is that you can easily make this dish nearly at time of year with canned artichoke hearts and fresh spinach, which is often available year round. While it is reminiscent of the classic overly creamy dip, this soup is slightly lighter and allows the flavors of the spinach and artichoke to shine without being overwhelmed by the cheese. It is reminiscent of an Alfredo sauce, though the addition of broth gives it a unique flavor and a thinner base.
Sticking with the winter theme, I love to pair this creamy and rich soup with a beautifully bright salad such as our bacon wrapped pear salad. While a trio of tea sandwiches is always a nice option for this menu, I thought a small cheese and charcuterie board or antipasti tray would add an air of sophistication that brings it all together nicely. Elevate the cheese board even more by adding a baked cheese to the menu. Finally, for dessert, something that matches the decadence and richness of the soup is the way to go -- and our minty chocolate cheese cake recipe is perfect.
Pairing teas to soups, especially ones with this kind of richness, can seem a bit difficult, but we have a fabulous guide to help you out. For this particular soup and menu, I love our Happy Hour herbal tea with its fresh notes of hibiscus and lime. However, nearly any fruit-forward tea will do well to cut through the richness of the creamy soup and the cheese board. If very fruity teas are not your style, try a strong Earl Grey variety such as Mindful Morning.
Don’t think this spinach artichoke soup needs to be set aside for fancy gatherings only. Yet another reason we love this amazing dish is its versatility. Not only can it be served on its own as a beautiful starter to a meal, but it is also a fabulous accompaniment to a salad or a sandwich for a lovely and decadent lunch. It can be made into a quick weeknight meal by adding pasta, chicken, or both. I especially love it served with a fun pasta such as tortellini.
A quick tip about reheating this soup: oftentimes the butter and cream will separate upon cooling. If this happens, warm it only halfway and stir it together vigorously before heating it further.
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, well drained
- 2 cups lightly packed spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt, to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese, to taste
Melt butter in a large thick-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Whisk in the flour and allow to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Slowly whisk in vegetable broth until the flour mixture is completely incorporated.
Bring to a simmer over medium high heat and let thicken slightly.
Stir in artichokes and spinach. Cook at a simmer until the spinach has wilted.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the heavy cream, stirring until well incorporated.
Adjust seasonings and remove from heat.
Serve warm with freshly grated parmesan on top.