Friday, 16 September 2016

Artichoke, Mushroom & Spinach Soup

When you eat artichokes plain - although by plain I mean boiled and served with some kind of sauce - do a few extra and then you can make soup with them. Like this one!

2 to 4 servings
30 to 40 minutes to cook the artichokes
30 minutes to make the soup

Artichoke, Mushroom & Spinach Soup

8 to 12 button mushrooms
2 or 3 medium shallots
2 cups spinach
4 cooked medium artichokes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups artichoke cooking water OR chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Clean, trim, and slice the mushrooms. Peel and mince the shallots. Wash and pick over the spinach. Begin pulling leaves off the artichokes, and scraping the flesh off them, Set the flesh aside and discard the stringy leaves. As you get down through the artichokes, the leaves will become more flesh and less string; at some point it will be appropriate just to cut the spiny tips of the leaves off and chop up the remaining tender artichoke heart.

Once you have done 2 of the artichokes, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot and add the mushrooms and shallots. Cook them gently, stirring regularly, for 5 or 10 minutes until softened and slightly browned in spots. Finish the artichokes as they cook and add all the accumulated pulp to the soup pot.

Add the flour, salt, and pepper to the pot, and mix in well. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, then begin to mix in the artichoke cooking water, a bit at a time, to keep the soup smooth and free of lumps of flour. Season with the Worcestershire sauce (and check the seasoning generally). Simmer for a further 5 to 10 minutes until the soup is slightly thickened.

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