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Creamy Garlic and Artichoke Soup

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INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

1 tablespoon pure olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium leeks, trimmed, white and tender green parts thinly sliced,
rinsed well water and drained
1 celery stalk with leaves, cut into thin slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small russet potato, peeled and small diced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best, using a zester)
2 (12 1/2-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained well and coarsely chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped chives or parsley for garnish


INSTRUCTIONS

I
n a large pot, add the tablespoon of olive oil and the butter to the soup pot and place over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery. Cook, stirring, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and potato. Cook for 4 additional minutes, stirring often. Lower the heat so the vegetables soften but don’t brown.
Add the cayenne and nutmeg; stir. Add the artichokes to the pot along with the stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Puree with an immersion (stick) blender or in batches in a standard blender.
Add the lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed and stir the cream into the soup.
Serve the soup hot and garnish with a sprinkle of chives or parsley if you don’t have chives.
Bon Appetit!

Bettina Tolin is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. She has cooked in the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Florida. She is currently the Executive Chef and General Manager at Marcello’s Italian Restaurant and Bar in Port Isabel, Texas.


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