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Artichoke-Potato Soup

artichoke-soupINGREDIENTS

6 artichoke hearts (fresh, frozen, or jarred)*
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T butter or margarine
1 potato, peeled (optional) and diced
4 c vegetable stock
salt
pepper

PREPARATION

Prepping the artichokes

1. Rinse the artichokes in running cold water.

2. Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke.

3. In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket. Add the artichokes. Cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off. Note: artichokes can also be cooked in a pressure cooker (about 15-20 minutes cooking time). Cooking time depends on how large the artichoke is, the larger, the longer it takes to cook.

4. Pull off outer petals, one at a time.

5. Scrape white fleshy end with a spoon. Discard remaining petal. Continue until all of the petals are removed.

3. With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the "choke") covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. 

Making the Soup

1. Heat butter over medium heat, and sauté the chopped artichoke hearts and garlic, stirring frequently, until golden.

2. Add potato and stock, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

3. Blend potato and artichokes with a little bit of the cooking liquid until smooth. Transfer back to the pan, season with salt and pepper, stir the purée into the remaining liquid, and reheat.

4. Serve immediately.