Artichoke Stew

Fresh artichokes have a similar taste to asparagus and lend themselves to soups and stews just as well as their cousin. This soup is creamy and thick as the potatoes and artichokes pretty much melt into the stock while cooking. Serve with warm bread.

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6 potatoes, quartered
1 onion, chopped
8 artichokes
1 lemon, halved
1/2 cup peas
2 tbsp oil
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp dill
1 tsp mint
1 tsp black pepper
4 cups stock
Juice of 1 lemon

Start by cleaning the artichokes. Most of the artichoke is edible, including the stem, the inside of the leaves (the outside of the leaves are sharp and fibrous), and the heart deep inside at the core. Remove the outside sharp and fibrous leaves until you see an indentation at the bottom of the artichoke heart. Cut the top off just above the choke (at the indentation) and then remove the inside choke. Cut the stem to just below the heart, trimming off the outside of the remaining stem. Brush the entire artichoke with lemon and keep in a water bath until ready to use.

Heat the oil in a pot and add the onions, garlic, and herbs. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain the artichoke hearts and add to the pot along with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and simmer until it is reduced by half (approximately 1 hour). Remove any potatoes, artichokes and peas with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Return the remaining stock to the stove and add the lemon juice. Cook for an additional 15 minutes and then pour the liquid onto the vegetables. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

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