Artichoke Sourdough Bisque

This is a healthy, low fat and delicious soup created by Chef Tony Baker of Montrio Bistro in Monterey. “It’s is simple to make, and ready in about 40 minutes. I’m not using cream or butter just a little olive oil. Instead of using heavy cream to thicken the soup, I added sourdough bread as a thickener.”

INGREDIENTS:

4 extra large fresh artichokes
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 leek. chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopepd
1 1/2 slices sourdough bread, roughly chopped
4 fresh sage leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Using a sharp serrated knife, trim the raw artichoke down to the heart. Using a spoon, scrape out the fuzzy choke and discard. You can also peel the stem and use that in the soup, since the stem is an extension of the heart. When your artichokes are clear of fuzz or outside petals, roughly chop the raw heart.

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Sweat (to sauté without color) the artichokes, onion, leek, garlic, celery and thyme, until tender. Add the chicken or vegetable liquid stock. Gently simmer the soup for 20 minutes.

Add the roughly chopped sourdough bread and sage. Simmer 3 – 5 minutes longer.

In small batches, pureé the soup until smooth using either a blender, food processor or immersion blender.

Place all of the soup into a clean saucepan, reheat, and check seasoning. Add a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper and serve.

YIELD: 6 servings

SOURCE: Chef Tony Baker, Montrio Bistro, Monterey, CA for Ocean Mist Farms