Lemony Artichoke and Potato Soup
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6
Salvatore Denaro, the chef-owner of Il Bacco Felice in Foligno, Umbria, makes this soup with young garlic cloves, fine Umbrian extra-virgin olive oil, small young potatoes and late-season, deep-violet artichokes. A fine lesson on the importance of what Italians call materia prima (raw materials)use whatever is freshest.
- 2 lemons1 halved, 1 cut into wedges
- 6 medium artichokes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium head of garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- Fill a large bowl with water and squeeze the lemon halves into it. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, trim the base, removing the stem and trimming the tough outer leaves beneath the heart. Cut off the top two-thirds of the leaves, leaving only the heart. With a small spoon, scrape out the hairy choke. Submerge the trimmed artichoke heart in the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining 5 artichokes. Once all the hearts have been trimmed, slice them 1/4-inch thick and return them to the lemon water.
- In a large, deep saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Drain the artichokes and add them to the saucepan along with the potatoes, the 6 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Put the peppercorns in a tea ball or tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth and immerse them in the soup. Simmer until both the artichokes and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the peppercorns.
- Using a fork or potato masher, partially mash the potatoes to thicken the broth. Season the soup with salt. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with the lemon wedges.