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Leek-And-Artichoke Soup
Yield: 6 servings

1 large or 2 medium artichokes
1 cup water, acidulated with the juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 tb virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 medium leeks, white part only, washed and sliced
1 small new potato, quartered and thinly sliced
6 leaves butter lettuce, chiffonade or a handful of sorrel leaves, sliced

1 tb chopped parsley
2 mint leaves, chopped
5 1/2 cups water
1 lb fresh peas, or 1 c frozen peas

freshly ground pepper
chopped chervil or chopped parsley
extra-virgin olive oil
Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Break off the tough outer leaves and slice off the top 2/3 of the
remaining inner leaves. Trim the outsides, cut the artichokes in
quarters and remove the chokes. Dice the trimmed hearts into small
pieces. Put them in the acidulated water as you work. Keep the
garlic cloves whole. Warm the olive oil and add the leeks, drained
artichokes, garlic, potato, lettuce or sorrel, parsley and mint.
Season with the salt, add 1/2 cup water and stew gently until the
vegetables are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and the rest
of the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer,
partially covered, for 20 minutes or until the artichokes are
cooked. Taste for salt. Puree the soup or leave it as is and serve
with the freshly ground pepper, add a few good pinches of chervil
or parsley, a spoonful of olive oil drizzled into each soup plate
and a dusting of cheese.


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