Carrot and Artichoke Soup
This soup has an extremely rich beautiful colour, it has quite an outstanding flavour that will keep your guests guessing for quite a while as what it is.
1lb (450g) carrots
1lb 8oz (700g) Jerusalem artichokes
3oz (75g) Butter
1 medium onion, peeled & roughly chopped
3 Celery stalks, chopped
1.5lts (2 ½ pts) hot vegetable stock
Salt & freshly milled black pepper
6-8 level tsp Crème fraiche
Fresh Parsley leaves
1/ Start by peeling and de-knobbling the artichokes and, as you peel them, cut them into rough chunks and place them in a bowl of cold salted water to prevent them from discolouring.
2/ Then, scrub the carrots and slice them into largish chunks. Now, in a large saucepan, melt the butter and soften the onion and celery in it for 5 minutes, keeping the heat fairly low. Next, drain the artichokes and add them to the pan, along with the carrots. Add some salt and, keeping the heat very low, put a lid on and let the vegetables sweat for 10 minutes to release their juices.
3/ After that, pour in the hot stock, stir well, put the lid back on and simmer, very gently, for a further 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Now liquidise the soup in two batches, then return it to the pan, taste to check the seasoning and reheat very gently until it just comes to simmering point.
4/ Serve in hot soup bowls, each garnished with a swirl of crème fraîche and a few leaves of the parsley.