Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Great Green Artichoke Soup

There was a request to begin dinner with artichokes this weekend. When I went to the super market, the regular artichokes looked drawn and frazzled. However, there were some wonderful looking ones with their long stems attached. Of course, they were more expensive; but I got four of them and got even by making a very good soup that was enough for four to six.
I cut off the stems, trimmed the ends and the bottom leaves and cut the stems across in half-inch pieces (about twelve cups). I put them all in nine-inch saute pan with water to cover--about seven cups. I brought them to a boil, reduced the heat and kept at a low boil for two-and-a-half hours or until a knife slipped easily into the stems. I added more water as need be to keep the pieces just covered.
Then, I drained them through a sieve which gave off five cups of liquid. I put the artichoke pieces through a food mill fitted with the fine disc. It made three cups of a thinnish puree. I heated the puree with a cup of the cooking liquid and a cup of chicken stock. Vegetarians could use two cups of the cooking liquid instead. I added; but it was not essential; two cups of cooked shelled beans that I had cooked and frozen last fall. Rinsed, canned beans could be substituted.
I seasoned with about a tablespoon of kosher salt; but the amount to be used shoulld be adjusted according to the saltiness of the stock and the canned beans. I brought it all to a boil and added a teaspoon of dill seed. Chopped fresh dill would have been nicer; but I didn't have any.
If the soup seems too thick add more artichoke stock or chicken stock.
It made enough to easily serve six or more peoplle in small soup bowls. Although healthy, it is rich and small bowls were enough.
As there were five cups of cooking liquid, I will see what my imagination provides.

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