Saturday, July 2, 2011

Don't get all "Choked" Up

There is a small deli in a small town in Northern California that is a staple among the locals. Among the variety of meats cheese, salads, sandwiches and the bottles of  Bob's Really Good Red Wine, they also serve soup.

Now according to the owner of the this local eatery, he buys the soup pre-made. All he has to do is put it in a crock pot in the morning and turn it on. He will rotate the soups depending on the day of the week and weather, but one of  the standards is An Artichoke Bisque.

Once upon a time, I couldn't figure out what the appeal of artichokes were. They have these spiny leaves that you have to scrape between your teeth to get anything out of.  Ah, but then I discovered the hearts. They are good in many things. salads, topped on pizza.... and soup...

So this afternoon I took a cruise around the Internet looking for something that sounds close to what I had at the deli, and I  think this is the winner.

Artichoke Bisque.

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green onion, chopped
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 (13-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, un-drained
1/2 cup whipping cream

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery and, stirring constantly, cook until onion is almost transparent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and green onion and

continue to cook over medium heat until garlic is soft, about 1 minute.

Sprinkle flour on onion mixture and stir constantly over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Add chicken broth, water, wine, bay leaf, salt, white pepper, thyme and hot pepper sauce. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.

Stir in artichoke hearts with liquid and cream. Cover and simmer on low heat for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Let me know what you think. And if your in that little deli try the bisque.

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