I back from the stores with brown paper bags of brown vegetables. Jerusalem artichokes – their lumpy skin is tinged with mauve – are to add weight to a pot of chicken soup, made with the appropriate broth and finished with lemon, thyme and fried artichokes. The potatoes should be baked in the oven and stuffed with green peppercorns, roasted garlic and cream cheese with herbs.
Sometimes you want chicken soup. Sometimes you need it. Clear broth will do, nutritious and easy to eat. But the soup I make today is thick not only with grated chicken from the broth, but also with artichokes. (If you’re cooking for someone who finds its presence disturbing, you can make it with potatoes instead.) But that’s the case with artichokes, mainly for the velvety quality they add to soup when. ‘they are crushed or mixed in a blender.
Potatoes are for more than just supper. There are times when only a baked potato will do. Usually around now, when the hope and excitement of the New Year fades and the evenings are cold and humid. You can trust a baked potato. The interesting part comes with the filling. This time a creamy butter made from soft cream cheese and roasted sweet garlic. Unpeeled cloves can be hidden among potatoes, their sweet caramel-colored flesh mashed into cream cheese with thyme and lemon juice. Reassuring, nostalgic, as cheap as crisps. Sometimes that’s really all we need.
Chicken, lemon and artichoke soup
The stock is crucial here. Give it time, letting the broth, herbs and chicken simmer gently for almost an hour. It is the heart and soul of the soup. For 4 people
Jerusalem artichokes 700g
Peanut oil 3 tbsp
For the scholarship:
chicken thighs 800g, with bone
chicken wings a handful
carrots 2, medium
thyme 5 small tufts
celery 1 stick
noir peppers 6
Ginger 4 thick pieces
Jerusalem artichokes 2
Peanut oil 1 tbsp
parsley a handful
thyme a few strands
First make the broth. Peel the onion, cut it in half and put it in a large saucepan or casserole dish. Add the chicken pieces and wings, carrots, thyme sprigs, celery stick cut in half, peppercorns, ginger and thyme. Pour 2 liters of water and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, cover partially with a lid and simmer for 50 minutes, checking the water level from time to time.
Peel the Jerusalem artichokes, then cut them into large pieces. In a large skillet, heat the peanut oil, then add the artichokes and cook for 10-15 minutes, until lightly colored, stirring occasionally. Pour in 1.5 liters of chicken stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes until the artichokes are tender.
Remove the chicken pieces from the broth and set aside. (You may have some broth left over, so strain it carefully through a sieve or colander into a bowl or large pitcher and discard the herbs. Let cool, then store in the refrigerator until you need it.) Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Remove the meat from the bones, then tear or cut into strips and set aside.
Combine the artichokes and broth with a hand blender or ladle in a blender bowl and reduce to a thick, creamy soup. Stir in the pulled chicken.
Finally, finely chop the parsley and mix. Check the seasoning by adding salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. (You may not need the whole lemon.) Peel and cut the artichokes, then fry them in oil in a shallow pan for 7-10 minutes until tender and tender. golden. Add them to the soup then remove the thyme leaves from their stems and sprinkle them at the last moment.
Baked potatoes (or artichokes) with roasted garlic and herb cheese
The cream cheese filling works just as well with potatoes as with artichokes. If you are using artichokes, cut them in half and use twice the amount of olive oil. For 4 people
potatoes 1.5 kg, small, white flesh
olive oil 3 tbsp
Garlic 6 plump cloves
For the filling:
cream cheese 200g
thyme sheets 1 teaspoon
Garlic 1 clove
lemon juice of 1, small
green pepper in brine 1 teaspoon
Preheat the oven to 200 / thermostat 6. Wash the potatoes and place them, tight but not touching, in a roasting pan, pour in the olive oil and add a crumbling of sea salt and a grind of black pepper . Toss them with your hands, making sure the tubers are lightly coated with oil and seasoning. Tuck the garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled, among them.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until tender. (It’s worth testing them continually – the exact time will depend a lot on the size and variety of your potatoes.) When the garlic has cooked for 30 minutes, remove it from the mold and let it cool for a while. little.
Place the cream cheese in a food processor. Remove the leaves from the parsley and add them to the cheese, then add the thyme. Peel the garlic and press the soft flesh inside into the cheese. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and mix for a few seconds to obtain a smooth cream, then transfer to a small mixing bowl and stir in the peppercorns. (If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop the parsley then mix with a wooden spoon.) Stack the potatoes on a serving platter, split them in the middle and add some of the herb filling.
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