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Artichoke Soup

Bear in mind that this soup needs to be chilled for 3-4 hours, so allow plenty of time.

ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 x 400 g (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained
600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups hot vegetable stock
150 ml (1/4 pint) 2/3 cup single (light) cream
2 tbsp fresh thyme, stalks removed
2 sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
fresh, crusty bread, to serve

method

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the chopped onion and crushed garlic, stirring, for 2 - 3 minutes or until just softened.

2. Using a sharp knife, roughly chop the artichoke hearts. Add the artichoke pieces to the onion and garlic mixture in the pan. Pour in the hot vegetable stock, stirring well.

3. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer, covered, for about 3 minutes.

4. Place the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, push the mixture through a sieve to remove any lumps.

5. Return the soup to the saucepan. Stir the single (light) cream and fresh thyme into the soup.

6. Transfer the soup to a large bowl, cover, and leave to chill in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours.

7. Transfer the chilled soup to individual soup bowls and garnish with strips of sun-dried tomato. Serve with crusty bread.

VARIATION
Try adding 2 tablespoons of dry vermouth, such as Martini, to the soup in step 5, if you wish.

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