This artichoke soup is indulgent! It’s deliciously rich and creamy; perfectly satisfying as the main part of a meal, or equally divine as a scrumptious first course in a fancy dinner party. This is the kind of soup that I’d put on the menu if my siblings and I were making one of our at-home “date nights” for my parents.
And one of the best things about it? It’s British. Not by definition, but the recipe is taken from The Cookery of England, a 1974 cookbook by Elisabeth Ayrton with a treasure-trove of recipes and culinary notes dating from the fifteenth century.
The following is based on two recipes from Mrs. Ayrton’s book. I’ve adapted the directions, cut the ingredients down to size for two people, and listed the quantities in familiar American amounts rather than ounces and pints.
If preparing artichokes scares you, take heart. (Is there a pun there?) This was my first time tackling an artichoke and I thought it was going to be a total waste of money. It seemed like a lot of work for not much “meat.” But its flavour (and heavenly aroma while it’s cooking) are totally worth any prickles you might get from that devilish inner choke. Find an online tutorial if you need some extra pointers. If you’re pressed for time, I imagine you could use canned hearts as well.
Do not be tempted to use skim milk or to leave out the cream in this reicpe. There is nothing wrong with milkfat, and you’ll only be selling yourself short if you skimp. I made this with cream-intact raw cow’s milk and heavy whipping cream, and I believe I’m a better person for it.
This artichoke soup is indulgent! Made with fresh artichoke hearts, milk, and cream, it's deliciously rich and creamy.
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 large artichoke
- 3 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1 small onion, chopped
- sea salt and pepper
- 2 cup chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Parmesan cheese
Put the lemon juice into a basin of cold water. Wash the artichoke, peel, and cut out the fuzzy core with a sharp paring knife. Reserve the peels to steam and eat later. Cut off and discard about 1/2 inch of the stem; use the paring knife to peel off the remaining outer layer of the stem and the tough green parts around the outer side of the heart. Chop the heart into pieces and put them in the lemon water to keep them white.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan; drain the artichoke and add it to the pan with the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook gently for 5 minutes, turning them. Add the stock gradually, and let everything simmer until the artichoke pieces are soft, about half an hour.
Put the artichokes, onions, and about half of the cooking liquid into a blender; blend until nearly smooth.
In the saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Whisk in flour to make a roux. Stir in the reserved liquid. Return everything to the pot, stir in milk and cream, and heat through. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top.
Do you like artichokes? Have you ever made artichoke soup?
Other soup recipes from my Recipe Index: