Duarte’s Tavern in Pesacadero is a favorite destination for people from the Monterey Bay area and a winner of the prestigious James Beard “American Classic” award. Those in the know insist you should sit at the bar and order the half and half—half Cream of Artichoke Soup and half spicy Cream of Green Chile Soup. It’s a tasty combination, but with artichokes selling for 12 for $1 at the stands in Castroville right now, we thought you might like to try making their famous artichoke soup at home. The recipe was squeezed out of them by foodies at our brand new sister publication Edible Silicon Valley. Their spring issue has just been released and you can find it at these locations.
6–8 large artichokes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups chicken stock
1 small onion
1 cup cream
- Trim stems off chokes so they stand securely on their bottoms. Cut ¾ inch off the top of each thistle and remove any tough bottom leaves.
- Under cold running water, force the leaves apart and cut out the small sharp-edged leaves and prickly choke in the center with a grapefruit knife or paring knife. Press the leaves back together.
- Put 2 inches of boiling water in a pan with a vegetable steamer; add salt, pepper, garlic, vegetable oil and lemon juice. Place artichokes top down in the pan. Cover and steam for 30–40 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Remove leaves and set aside. The remaining leaves can be served chilled with a favorite sauce.
- Purée artichoke hearts, adding chicken stock to blender. Bring stock and diced onion to boil and simmer 5 minutes.
- Stir in cream and thoroughly warm soup (but do not boil). Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with julienned artichoke leaves.