Stuffed Artichoke Soup

ingredients

4 servings
 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilextra-virgin olive oil2
2 leeks, white part only, washed well and choppedleek2
1 clove garlic, mincedgarlic1
1 small potato, peeled and choppedrusset potatoes1
1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawedfrozen artichoke hearts1
2 cups chicken stockchicken stock2
½ teaspoon saltsalt½
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepperfreshly ground black pepper¼
2 tablespoons softened mascarpone cheesemascarpone cheese2
Stuffed Topping
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsleyparsley3
2 tablespoons chopped mintfresh mint leaves2
2 tablespoons chopped basilbasil2
1 teaspoon grated lemon zestlemon zest1
¾ pound Roma tomatoes, seeded and choppedroma tomatoes¾
2 tablespoons drained and rinsed caperscapers2
3 ounces Italian bread croutons*bread croutons3

instructions

 
Heat olive oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and the garlic and stir. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the artichokes, stock, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Using a handheld immersion blender, or in a blender in batches*, puree the soup. Add the 2 tablespoons mascarpone and blend again to combine.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
Stuffed Topping
Gently toss everything together. Place a good spoonful on top of the finished soup and drizzle with olive oil.

cook's notes

To make the croutons, toss 3 ounces of 1/4 inch cubes of Italian bread with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and toasted.

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