Lemon Artichoke Soup

Lemon Artichoke SoupOne of the benefits of having a Vitamix is that there is a small universe of recipes that can simply be thrown in to the blender, hit the switch and you’re good to go.  This recipe is one of those.

On top of searching for easy Vitamix recipes, I’ve also been looking for soup recipes that contain coconut milk.  Not the lame fat free stuff that a lot of people like, but the real deal super fatty stuff that tastes so delightful.  And I’ve found quite a few that come close to what I’m looking for, but could use just a bit of tweaking to better suit my tastes.

So here’s my tweaking…

Food For Thought

Why soup?  And why full fat coconut milk?

I’ve never been much of a juicer guy.  I’ve tried a few, but never really got into as I believe that it’s fairly important to eat the whole food, and not just squeeze the sugar juice out of foods and chug it down.  I tend towards smoothies over juicing, but even then I end up adding way too much fruit and other sweeteners and end up with some super high sugar laden drink, which I’m sure isn’t very healthy for me.

So soups seemed to be the next logical step.  On some levels, a soup could be a derivative of a vegetable smoothie, but hot instead of cold (usually), and not necessarily meant to be consumed 32 ounces at a time.

I like soups, I have a Vitamix, and if I can pack a bunch of vegetable servings into one dish, then I think I am on to something worth pursuing.

And coconut milk?  I find that it makes a great base for almost every soup that I have tried it in, with this lemon artichoke soup being no exception.  Most recipes that I see call for homemade chicken stock, which I sometimes have on hand, but not always.  But canned coconut milk?  I always have that ready!

But besides being convenient, there are lots of health benefits to consuming full fat coconut milk.  First, it’s high in fat, and the good kinds.  If you buy in to the overall notion that our carb intake should be relatively low, maybe 100 grams a day, without fat consumption around 50% of our diet, then coconut milk is a great pantry staple.

Also, while not as high in lauric acid content as coconut oil, coconut milk still is a pretty decent source, estimated to have around 3.5 grams of lauric acid for every two ounces you drink of coconut milk.  That’s good news, because lauric acid has been shown to contain antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties, which all sound pretty good to me.

As an added bonus, as I learned about the different ingredients I used in this soup, I found all sorts of great press about artichokes.  It seems that they are almost universally loved as they are quite high in antioxidants as well as dietary fiber.

Once I decided on the base of my soup, the coconut milk and artichoke hearts, I had to choose a few other ingredients to fill out the flavor profile while packing in as many different kinds of vegetables as possible.  So I went with 1/2 an onion, you could add more if you really like the biting flavor of raw onion, some celery, carrots, garlic and one hot pepper just to spice it up a bit.

It turns out, with a Vitamix, that this lemon artichoke soup with coconut milk is super easy to make, tastes great, and if any of my research is remotely correct, is actually pretty darn good for you!

Ingredients

1/2 to 1 onion
4 stalks celery
4 carrots
3 cloves garlic
2 cans artichoke hearts
1 can coconut milk
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 jalapeno, or hot pepper of your choice
salt and pepper
few sprigs cilantro

Directions

  1. Roughly chop and prepare all of your ingredients
  2. Pour entire contents of one can of artichoke hearts into the Vitamix, but drain the second can of artichoke hearts before placing only the hearts into the blender
  3. Add the coconut milk and then the rest of the ingredients into the Vitamix
  4. Place the top on, and set the dial to the hot soup mode
  5. Press the start button and let the blender cycle through until the machine stops, the soup is hot and finely pureed
  6. Add a few sprigs of cilantro, or parsley if you prefer, and pulse blend just a few times to chop the herbs into the soup before serving
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