6 artichoke hearts, fresh, frozen or jarred*
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 potato, peeled (optionally) and diced
4 cup vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
*See below for instructions to prepare artichoke hearts.
Prepping the Artichokes
1. Rinse the artichokes in running cold water.
2. Slice about 3/4-1 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 (for wonderful flavor). Put artichockes in steaming basket and insert in pot. Cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 25-45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.
Note: artichokes can also be cooked in a pressure cooker for about 15-20 minutes. Cooking time depends on how large the artichoke is: the larger it is, the longer it takes to cook.
4. Pull off outer petals of artichoke, one at a time.
5. Scrape white fleshy end with a spoon. Discard remaining petals. 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. Chop artichoke hearts. 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.