In cold winter days, or miserable rainy spring days, like the one we had yesterday in Athens, there is hardly anything better than soup. Especially if this soup is with artichokes and leeks.
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As far as soup goes, we sort of prefer them broathy in the household. A filling broth with distinct chunks of robust vegetables or fish to munch on. If though, one has lived up north you cannot help but appreciate the rich taste and warming qualities of vegetable veloute soup. It’s a bowl of nourishing goodness that warms your insides with every slurp, both literally and metaphorically. This winter I had my fair share of soup and although all tasted good, this artichoke and leek soup stroke a cord with me, I couldn’t help but share it.
I found these semi-wild variety of artichokes in my farmers market, the producer had brought them from Tinos island. There is a tendency here in Greece to associate each locale with the good quality of produce, an informal pedigree. For instance if you want potatoes for your roast you would look for Naxos potatoes, if you want mellow aubergines we look for the tsakonikes from the Peloponnese, similarly if you want to get the tastiest artichokes, these have to be from Tinos’ island. Along with the long tradition of cultivating artichokes, Tinos artichoke is semi-wild and unlike the very well known globe artichokes, this vegetable has a pointy top and dark green and purple leaves. Of course, they taste divine, mild earthy and buttery flavours, qualities that are bound to improve the texture of any soup. Joint with leeks in the pot, it is goodness unveiled. Both artichokes and leeks make the top of my list of veg. Here is what you will need to make this soup:
Artichoke & leek soup
- 6 large artichokes hearts
- 3 leeks sliced
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 small potato diced
- 4-5 dill stalks finely chopped
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 750 vegetable stock
- 1 lemon
- If you are using whole artichokes, trim them, removing the outer leaves and hairy choke, keeping only the cup-shaped bases. Chop and drizzle a tablespoon of lemon juice to avoid discolouration.
- Toss in a large pot the artichoke hearts, leek, onion and olive oil and cook until softened (about 8 minutes)
- Add in the vegetable stock, potato and dill, another tablespoon of lemon juice, then bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, let the soup get to room temperature and use a food processor to make a purée and get the wonderful velvety texture. Reheat and enjoy!
I hope this soup warms you up and make your day. Do you have other favourite vegetable soups? Let me know in the comments below.
From Athens with love,