Artichoke soup

Artichoke soup by the james kitchen
Artichoke soup, a photo by the james kitchen on Flickr.
What shall I say? I love artichokes in any way possible and this is a great way to employ them in a winter warmer soup. My Mum is visiting at the moment and since we share the passion for this thistle-y thing this had to be our lunch.Artichokes from a tin add a slight lemony tang which I love in this soup, a floury potato is responsible for the creamy & velvety texture and some well-needed heartiness. No heavy cream needed – and you could treat the swirl of crème fraîche as optional but I recommend adorning your bowl with just a small dollop of crème fraîche for aesthetic reasons (and a little more lightness).

Need more reasons for this soup? Quite low in calories I might imagine, extremely low if you tweak butter, oil & crème to absolute minimums but the main attraction to me is that most of the times I have either a tin of hearts or frozen bottoms (Hello Dr Lecter) in stock and since the other ingredients are pretty much staples, I am able to whip this up quickly if the need arises. Makes a great starter to a dinner, too.

 

Artichoke soup
serves 2 as a main for lunch or 4 as a starter

1 large banana shallot or onion, chopped
1 knob of butter & 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large potato (Russet or baking), peeled & diced (literally)
1 small tin artichoke hearts in brine, replace by frozen artichoke bottoms if you like (400g/14oz, 220g/7.7oz drained weight), quartered
½ litre vegetable stock
salt & pepper
crème fraîche (optional)

 

Chop the shallot & dice the potato and quarter the artichoke hearts. Melt the butter & olive oil in a pot and sauté the shallot over medium heat until translucent. Add the potato & artichoke pieces and cover with stock. Add more if your vegetables are not covered, simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Finally blend into a velvety soup (with an immersion hand blender or in a blender) and season with salt & pepper. Add a swirl of crème fresh if you like.

 

DEUTSCH:

Artischockensuppe
für 2 als Hauptgericht oder 4 Personen als Vorspeise

1 große Bananenschalotte oder 1 Zwiebel, gehackt
1 Stückchen Butter & 1 EL Olivenöl
1 große Kartoffel (mehlig kochend), geschält & in Würfelgroße Stücke geschnitten
1 Dose (400g, 220g Abtropfgewicht) Artischockenherzen (man kann auch gefrorene Artischocken oder Böden benutzen), geviertelt
500ml Gemüsebrühe
Salz & Pfeffer
crème fraîche (optional)

Die Schalotte hacken, die Kartoffel schälen und würfeln, sowie die Artischockenherzen vierteln. Butter und Öl in einem Topf schmelzen, die Schalotte darin glasig andünsten. Dann die Kartoffel- und Artischockenstücke hinzugeben und mit Brühe begießen, eventuell etwas mehr hinzugeben falls das Gemüse nicht ganz bedeckt ist. 15-20 Minuten köcheln lassen, dann zu einer samtigen Suppe pürieren (entweder mit einem Pürierstab oder im Blender) und mit Salz & Pfeffer würzen. Mit einem Löffel crème fraîche verfeinern.

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