The first night we had Shrimp Scampi and I kept the leftover scampi drippings and heart from the first artichoke we steamed to use as a base for the soup. I was afraid that because they were sooooooooooooo large they would be flavorless and tough, but it was just the opposite, they had more flavor than I can remember in a long time. Now I have a sneaky suspicion that many restaurants add a touch of food color as mine turned out a very pale green.
So for tonight, we’re having:
CREAM OF ARTICHOKE SOUP
6 large artichokes
1 Vidalia onion, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
Juice of 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons)
2 + 1 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup long grain rice*optional
1 cup heavy cream
- Prepare the artichokes for steaming: Remove and discard tough outer leaves of the artichokes.
- Bring 1-2″ of water to boil in a pot large enough for all the artichokes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and oil. Place artichokes on steaming apparatus in pot, cover tightly, and steam 45 minutes or so.
- Remove artichokes and allow them to cool sufficiently to be handled.
- Scrape the tender artichoke “meat” from the inside of each leaf (I use a heavy knife for this). If the steamed artichokes are particularly tender, you may be able to dispense with the scraping and just cut off the top portions of the leaves.
- Puree the artichoke “meat” and artichoke hearts with the onion, 1 clove minced garlic and chicken stock.
- Add rice and the final tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Simmer over low heat for about 1 hour.
- Add cream, adjust salt and pepper, and serve.
- Add a dollop of sour cream and garnish with chives or parsley.