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PALESTINE SOUP

1/2 kg (1 lb) large Jerusalem artichokes
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
125 g (4 oz) butter
2 rashers green back bacon, or 60 g (2 oz) ham
1 litre (1 3/4 pt) light chicken or turkey stock, or water
1 litre (8 fl oz) milk (optional)
salt, pepper
6 tablespoons cream
chopped parsley and chives

Scrub and boil the artichokes in salted water for five to ten
minutes, then run them under the tap and remove the peel. I think
this is the easiest thing to do, though if you prefer to peel them
raw, it doesn't matter. It entirely depends on the shape of the
artichokes.

Cut up the artichokes. If you are using potatoes, peel and dice
them.

Put them with the onion, garlic and celery in a large pan with half
the butter. Cover tightly, and stew over a low heat for ten minutes,
giving the pan an occasional shake or stir. Now add the bacon or
ham, and cook a moment or two longer. Pour in the stock or water,
and leave to simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Blend if
you want a smooth soup, or put through the mouli-legumes if you
like a knobbly texture. Reheat, adding more water, or the milk, to
dilute to taste. Correct the seasoning. Finally stir in the last
of the butter, the cream and herbs. Serve with croutons of bread
fried in butter.

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