Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recipe of the Week: Artichoke Bisque

One of the memories I have of my train trip down to Los Angeles last month are the rows and rows, acres upon acres of farm fields.  We buzzed by so fast, that most of the time I couldn't tell what was growing where, but occasionally I would spot an artichoke field and my mouth would water.

The Dutch introduced artichokes to England, where they grew in Henry VIII's garden at Newhall in 1530. They were brought to the United States in the 19th century, to Louisiana by French immigrants and to California by Spanish immigrants. The name has originated from the Arabic al-kharshof, through a northern Italian dialect word, articiocco.

Today, artichoke cultivation is concentrated in the countries bordering the Mediterranean basin. In the United States, California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop, and approximately 80 percent of that is grown in Monterey County; there Castroville proclaims itself to be "The Artichoke Center of the World", and holds an annual artichoke festival. 

Artichoke Bisque


1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green onion, chopped
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 (13-ounce) cans artichoke hearts, undrained
1/2 cup whipping cream

  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery and, stirring constantly, cook until onion is almost transparent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and green onion and
    continue to cook over medium heat until garlic is soft, about 1 minute.
  2. Sprinkle flour on onion mixture and stir constantly over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Add chicken broth, water, wine, bay leaf, salt, white pepper, thyme and hot pepper sauce. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.
  4. Stir in artichoke hearts with liquid and cream. Cover and simmer on low heat for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
Makes 8 servings.

Recipe Courtesy of CooksRecipe
Image Courtesy of Google Images