Circumstances have conspired to keep me from doing too much work around here. And that is my excuse for watching Giada in the afternoon when I should have been productive. Actually Giada De Laurentiis and Ina Garten are two of my favorites on the Food Network, but we usually indulge in the
evening. I like to watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, too, but we watch it at night and it makes me
soo hungry...and jealous of those communities that host such wonderful eateries.
Anyway, I saw Giada making soup. I like to make soup. It looked quick and easy. I like quick and easy. So I went shopping and I made it. I made a few changes, but nothing big. It was good, but Lee liked it better than I did.
Creamy Arugula Soup with Goat Cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup chopped assorted lettuces (butter, red leaf, green leaf)
2 cups arugula or spinach
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
I didn't buy the shallots. At our store you can only buy them in bunches and I can usually substitute onions, so I did this time with 1/2 of a big onion. Sorry Giada.
I chopped them up and added them to the olive oil warming in my Dutch Oven. While they cooked until tender, I peeled and diced 2 russet potatoes. They only sold big bags of Yukon Gold potatoes and I didn't want to have a bunch of potatoes to eat...low carbs, remember. Someone made a comment that the lettuce made the soup a bit watery and thin, so I thought russets would thicken it a bit and I used two big potatoes. Sorry Giada.
After the onions are softened, add the stock ( I used broth, sorry Giada ) and the potatoes. Bring it to a boil and reduce the soup to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Add the chopped lettuces and arugula to the pot. They will wilt and cook down in just a few minutes.
Transfer the potatoes and wilted lettuces to a blender. In fact, bring the blender jar to the Dutch oven, so you don't drip or spill. You may want to do this in batches if the jar is more than half full. You don't want to blow the top off. Use a measuring cup to add some liquid in the jar and then blend away until smooth. Add the cream and seasonings and blend again. Pour back into the Dutch Oven.
Serve with a 1/2 inch slice of goat cheese. We also used some rustic brown bread and olive oil for dipping.
Now I know I did a lot of things to this soup that Giada (notice how I say this like we are buddies) wouldn't have, and didn't, do. So when I say that this isn't my favorite soup in the world, it is totally not Giada's fault. Maybe I'm just not an arugula fan. And we do live in Southwest Virginia and some ingredients are a wee big harder to come by and I made adjustments. Still, it was very pretty and thick and creamy. I had to add a bit more salt and the goat cheese really added some creamy tanginess. So don't leave that out. Use your spoon to get a chunk of cheese in each creamy bite. In fact, next time I may add two hunks in each bowl as the cheese added some bite to a rather bland soup.