Okay, I was going to do something really original and weird and shock you all for my third artichoke dish, but as I was figuring out what to do for dinner tonight I decided that I would rather do something delicious.
Creamy Chicken and Artichoke Soup
1 whole fryer chicken (on the small side)
1 can artichokes, chopped coarsely
1/2 large onion
Garlic cloves (I lost count. This happens with garlic. Looks like a total of about 1/2 a head)
Lemon thyme (I have this growing in a pot and am gradually falling more and more in love with it)
2 tablespoons potato starch
3 small potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon clarified butter
Put the chicken in a large stockpot with the majority of the garlic, salt, pepper, and the fresh herbs. Cover with water and simmer for about an hour and a half. Take the chicken out and let it cool.
When it’s cool enough to handle, pick all the meat out. Feed the skin to the cats and throw away the bones.
Chop the onion and the rest of the garlic and fry in the butter in the bottom of a somewhat smaller pot. When the onions are starting to look clear, strain about 3 cups of the stock into the soup pot with the onions. Strain another cup into a small bowl and whisk in the potato starch until all the lumps are gone and stir into the soup pot. Add the chicken meat, the potatoes and the artichoke. Cook for about ten minutes or until the potatoes are done. While that’s happening, strain the rest of the stock into jars for freezing because that stuff is cooking gold, people.
When the potatoes are done, turn the heat down low and stir in the cream. Serve hot.
Verdict: Husband says “I’m willing to eat chicken when you cook it but I don’t really like it that much [note: Mr. Nettle was a vegetarian for most of his life until I corrupted him, and is still only willing to eat free-range poultry.] This? I like this. This is really good. Somehow it manages to feel hearty and filling, yet at the same time it has this light ethereal sort of flavor.”
I agree with that last bit. The most remarkable thing about this soup is that it has a delicate, complex flavor yet feels like eating a meal. I would absolutely make this again, no changes needed. Not too complicated to put together, yet it tastes like it should have been. A dish that makes me look better than I am, basically.
I apologize for doing two soups – no doubt I lose points for that. Once I got the idea for this soup (from trolling through Google for artichoke recipes – this is not any particular recipe but I saw a few based on this same basic concept) I couldn’t not make it. I’m not bothering with a picture because I notice that my last two photos both just look like a bowl of some pale yellowish-green stuff. This soup would look pretty much like that photographed, so there’s not point in taking another picture.