Cream of Artichoke Soup


ACTIVE: 1 hr TOTAL: 2 hrs 10 min

TO MAKE AHEAD: Refrigerat­e for up to 3 days. Perhaps the vegetable that defines the Central Coast most is the artichoke. Indeed, the town of Castrovill­e is nicknamed the Artichoke Center of the World. Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero has been serving patrons since 1894. One of its specialtie­s? This soup that’s all about the thistle.

2 lemons, halved

5 pounds fresh artichokes (6-8 large) 6 cups no-chicken or low-sodium chicken broth, divided

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1. Squeeze the juice from 3 lemon halves into a large bowl of cold water and add the rinds; keep the remaining lemon half handy. Discard the outer leaves of an artichoke, snapping them off at the base until you reach the pale yellow leaves with darker green tops. Slice off the green tops to reveal the fuzzy choke in the center (if you don’t see it on the first cut, cut a little lower until it is visible). With a melon baller or grapefruit spoon, remove the choke. Rub the top of the exposed heart with the lemon half. Using a paring knife, trim any woody or brown part of the stem and then peel the remaining stem. Trim around the base of the artichoke to remove any fibrous green portions. Rub with the lemon half and drop the artichoke heart into the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes (you should have 12 to 14 ounces of artichoke hearts).

2. Drain the artichoke hearts and transfer to a large pot. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the artichokes are tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the artichokes and 3 cups of the hot broth to a blender. Add garlic and blend until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return the mixture to the pot with the remaining hot broth. Add butter and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour to concentrat­e the flavors.

4. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl; gradually whisk into the soup and cook, stirring, until the soup bubbles and thickens, about 1 minute. Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper; heat through.

SERVES 6: 3/4 cup each

Cal 188 Fat 9g (sat 6g) Chol 28mg Carbs 24g

Total sugars 3g (added 0g) Protein 6g Fiber 8g

Sodium 483mg Potassium 585mg.

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