Creamy Carciofi Soup

Artichokes (carciofi), can be enjoyed in many ways. I have grilled, stuffed, and fritattafied (not a real word in any language) them. One of my husband’s favorite artichoke recipes is this soup. The ingredients are generally staples in my house, so this simple to prepare soup is ready in under an hour. The creamy consistency is obtained not by adding cream but by pureeing the soup. Served as a first course, with its special (not optional) garnish, it can add a touch of elegance to your menu.

Ingredients:

  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans artichoke hearts (not marinated)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  1. Using a large soup pot, combine the potatoes, celery, onion and both broths.
  2. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low but steady simmer. Cover and cook 30 minutes. The vegetables should be tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Drain the artichokes, rinse in cold water and drain again. Add to the soup and cook for a minute to heat through.
  4. Remove from heat and puree the soup in batches. Using a food processor or strong blender (I use a vita-mix), puree the soup. Transfer each batch back to the pot.
  5. Stir in the salt, a few grinds of black pepper and butter. At this point, if I’m not going to serve this until later in the day or even the next day, I’ll let it cool a bit, transfer to a container and refrigerate the soup.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, combine the parsley and lemon juice in a small bowl. Ladle hot soup into individual bowls and sprinkle each serving with about a tablespoon of cheese. Top the cheese with a bit of the parsley mixture. Serve immediately.

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