Artichoke Soup

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1 qt quality chicken stock

4 bags frozen artichoke hearts

4 tablespoon butter

2 stalks celery, chopped

4 shallots, chopped

2 sprigs thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup half and half

Saute in a soup pot the shallots and celery in butter until translucent . Add the stock and thyme sprigs to the pot. Simmer until thyme leaves fall off sprigs. Remove the stems. Add the artichoke hearts and simmer until very tender. With an immersion blender or food processor blend mixture until smooth. Stir in half and half and adjust seasonings. Serve in steamed artichoke bowls and serve the gutted portion of the streamed artichokes on the side.

To steam Artichokes, Slice top and bottom off artichoke, place trimmed leave side down in high simmering water with lemon juice and a couple of smashed cloves of garlic. Simmer for about 30 -45 minutes depending on the size of the artichoke. Test for doneness by taking a paring knife and inserting into center of the bottom of the artichoke. If it slides in easy it’s done. Remove and drain. Remove choke and enough leaves to create a bowl for serving soup.

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