September 28, 2019

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Artichoke and Parmesan Soup

As much as I love scraping the meat off artichoke leaves with our teeth (it makes me feel very primal), it’s the heart of the artichoke that I really love. 

This perfect for Fall soup, with its intensely earthy artichoke flavor, makes the most of artichokes. It's also a great way to use leftover Parmesan rind: Just toss it into the soup while it simmers, then discards it before pureeing.

Ingredients

    • 1/2 lemon
    • 4 Big Heart or globe artichokes (1 pound each)
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 4 large shallots, halved
    • 3 large garlic cloves, halved
    • Salt
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
    • One 4-ounce Parmesan rind, plus 1/2 cup of shavings, for garnish
    • 12 thyme sprigs and 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, tied in cheesecloth
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup pure olive oil

How to Make It

Step 1    

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze the lemon half into it. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, snap off the outer leaves. Using a sharp knife, trim the stem and base of the artichoke and cut off the top two-thirds of the leaves. With a spoon or melon baller, scrape out the furry choke. Rub the artichoke heart all over with the lemon half and add back to the water. Repeat with the remaining 3 artichokes. Cut 3 of the artichoke hearts into 1-inch pieces and return them to the water.

Step 2    

In a large saucepan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil until shimmering. Drain the artichoke pieces and pat dry. Add them to the saucepan along with the potatoes, shallots and garlic; season with salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned and barely tender, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock, Parmesan rind and thyme bundle and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the thyme bundle and Parmesan rind.

Step 3    

Working in batches, puree the soup until smooth. Return it to the saucepan. Add the heavy cream and season with salt. Keep the soup warm.

Step 4    

Drain the whole artichoke heart and pat thoroughly dry. Thinly slice the heart on a mandoline. In a medium skillet, heat the pure olive oil until shimmering. Add the sliced artichoke heart and fry over high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried artichoke slices to paper towels to drain; sprinkle lightly with salt.

Step 5    

Ladle the soup into bowls. Mound some Parmesan shavings in the center, top with the fried artichokes and serve.

 


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