Our soup at the European Dinner Party uses one of my favorite vegetables – the artichoke.
Fresh artichokes are not the easiest vegetable to work with, but when you use canned (or frozen) artichoke hearts, they are a snap to use.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, diced and well washed
2 large shallots, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, divided
1/4 cup minced chives, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Stir in the leeks, shallots, and garlic. Add the potatoes and cook for four to five minutes, stirring often. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer.
Add the artichokes, salt, and pepper; cover and cook on a low simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Pour into a blender and purée the soup, in two batches. Add 4 tablespoons of the mascarpone and blend again to combine.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Dollop the top of each a dollop of the remaining mascarpone cheese and then top with chives.
Serves 4 to 6