Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Creamy Artichoke Bisque

I would like to begin this post with an announcement.

IMPORTANT: This recipe calls for the hearts of four fresh artichokes. DO NOT put the leaves from the artichokes down your drain. Don’t ask me if I did this. Please don’t ask if I had completely clogged our pipes for a panicked thirty minutes. What I will tell you is that if you put all the leaves from four artichokes down your kitchen drain it will be bad. Very, very bad. Not that I would know.

Thanks for your attention.

We are just about a week away from the first official day of fall. I can promise you that you will see a lot of soup recipes here on Christi's Chirps. It's one of my favorite meals during the chilly months.

Have you ever had bisque? It’s a luxurious, velvety, creamy soup served piping hot. There are many different kinds of bisque. There is sure to be one that makes your skirt fly up. Maybe this one will.

You’ll begin with four artichokes. Trim off about one inch of the tops.


Next, lop one inch off of the stem.


Drop those in a large pot of boiling water, face first. You’ll want the water about two inches deep. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the boiling water, a dash of salt and a small spoon of garlic.


Add the lid and let boil for about 30-40 minutes. Check on the artichokes a couple of times to make sure they still have enough water.

You’ll know the artichokes are done when you can easily peel off one of the leaves. You can use tongs to do this.

Once they are done, remove with tongs and let cool.

I encourage you to do like MD and I and dip the artichoke leaves in melted butter and devour. Yes, from all four artichokes.


Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get the hearts out.

To do this, grab a spoon and gently scoop out the center. It's the remains of some spiky leaves that you'll want to toss out. 


Chop off about a half inch of the stem and leave the rest.


Here are the hearts!


Coarsely chop and set aside. 


Meanwhile, get started on the bisque. Steps for this process are provided below.

After you’ve completed all the steps below, let cool for a second.

IMPORTANT: If you add the liquid to the blender when it’s still very hot, it will explode. After it has settled for a few minutes, add a little of the liquid at a time to the blender. Hold down the lid tightly and pulse. Repeat until all liquid has been added and the mixture is nice and smooth.


Viola! The finished product!


Cheers!
Christi



Ingredients:
4 fresh artichokes
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter for boiling water
2 tablespoons butter for bisque
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon Paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Prepare the artichokes:
Simmer clean, whole artichokes in salted boiling water for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick can be easily inserted in the base of the artichoke. Drain and cool under cold running water. When cool enough to handle, remove all the outer leaves down to the inner choke. Scrape the choke from the artichoke heart using a small spoon. Chop the artichoke coarsely.

To make the bisque:
In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the whole garlic cloves and sauté over medium-low heat until soft and golden but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the flour and mix well to form a roux. Cook the flour mixture for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, and then slowly add the vegetable stock while stirring to mix well and prevent lumps from forming. Add the artichokes and cook for 3 minutes more, then carefully blend the mixture with an immersion or tabletop blender to a smooth consistency.

Pour back into skillet to simmer. Add the heavy cream and milk and mix well. Continue to heat over medium low heat for about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh green onions if desired. Serve immediately.


3 comments:

Emily Kay Griffin said...

Hello friend from long ago - This looks great for fall. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, have a nice day.

Emily (Buckley) Griffin

Ally Garner said...

Oh my. Who doesn't love a good Bisque in the Fall? And the bonus of getting to scrape the tasty bits of the leaves in melted butter sold me! Great recipe for the chilly nights were getting here in the Carolinas lately. Love it!

Christi's Chirps said...

Hi, Emily! So wonderful to hear from you! Thank you so much for stopping by! :) I hope all is well with you! Come back soon and let me know if you give any of these recipes a try!

Hi, Ally! I actually thought about just buying the canned artichoke hearts but quickly decided that would not be a good idea. Fresh artichokes are too amazing; especially with the bonus of finding your way to the center! Might as well enjoy the leaves too! Thanks so much for your visit!