Artichoke, Spring Pea and Mint Soup
The clear broth of this soup allows the green color of the artichokes and peas to really shine. Serve this in a shallow bowl with a good loaf of bread for a light meatless meal that celebrates the arrival of spring.
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 12 small artichokes
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 5 cups (40 fl. oz./1.25 l) vegetable broth
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) fresh peas
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Fill a bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, cut off the stem of the artichoke flush with the bottom. Snap off the dark green leaves until you reach the tender yellow inner leaves. Cut off the top one-third of the artichoke to remove the pointed tips. Cut the artichoke into quarters and, with a paring knife, trim away the fuzzy choke. As you work, drop each quarter into the bowl of lemon water to prevent the artichokes from discoloring.
In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Drain the artichoke quarters and add them to the pan with the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the artichokes are tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the mint, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011)