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Potato Soup With Baby Artichokes

You can substitute eight small artichokes for the baby artichokes: Prepare them as directed, removing all but the tender inner leaves and scooping out the choke. Adjust the cooking time accordingly. Fan leaves of artichoke hearts, and place one in each bowl.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2006

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • 24 baby artichokes
  • 6 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Fresh chives, cut into 1-inch pieces, for garnish

Directions

  1. Fill a large bowl with cold water, and squeeze the juice of 3 lemon halves into water; add rinds. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove the tough outer leaves (reserve about 8 cups leaves, and discard remaining). Trim tops so artichokes are 1 inch long. Peel stems to remove tough, dark-green parts, and cut stems flat so that artichokes can stand upright. Rub artichokes with juice from the remaining lemon half; place artichokes in the lemon water. Cover with damp paper towels. Artichokes can be refrigerated in lemon water overnight; cook just before serving.

  2. Put reserved artichoke leaves and the stock into a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a large bowl, and discard leaves (you should have about 4 cups liquid). Set aside.

  3. Melt butter in a medium stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes and reserved artichoke broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  4. Meanwhile, fill a clean large stockpot with 2 inches of water. Insert a steamer basket, and bring water to a boil. Add artichoke hearts to steamer basket. Cover, and steam until artichoke hearts are tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes (begin checking after 15 minutes). Season with salt. Transfer artichoke hearts to a platter, and cover to keep warm.

  5. Working in batches, coarsely puree the soup in a food processor (do not over-process). Pass through a medium-mesh sieve into pot. Season with salt and pepper. Soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight; reheat over medium-low heat before serving.

  6. Ladle soup into bowls. Fan leaves of artichoke hearts, if desired; place 3 hearts in each bowl. Garnish soup with chives.

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