1 package of artichoke hearts, cut in small pieces (or 6 fresh artichokes-see directions below for preparing)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 potatoes, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon reconstituted lemon juice or juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
4 cups cold water
1 bay leaf
peperoncino flakes (as desired)
salt and pepper to taste
In the bottom of a large saucepan add olive oil and cook onion until softened. Remove the onion and put aside. In the same saucepan with olive oil heat the garlic slices until softened (don’t burn as they will be bitter).
Combine the potatoes, artichokes, onion, and garlic in the large saucepan adding enough water to make approximately 4 cups of liquid.
Add the thyme, bay leaf, parsley, pepperoncino (add a little at a time during cooking or omit entirely). Add the lemon juice.
Cook, covered until potatoes and artichokes are soft (approximately 1/2 an hour). Remove from cooktop and put aside to cool. Once cool put one cup at a time in food processor and pulse until smooth. Remove after each batch and put aside in another pot or casserole. Taste to see if the soup needs more salt.
Combine the contents of both saucepans into one keeping water.
Once all soup is smooth serve and sprinkle Parmagiano-Reggiano grated cheese on top.
NOTE: If you use fresh artichokes the soup will take another hour to cook.
PREPARING FRESH ARTICHOKES
Fill a bowl with approximately one quart of cold water and the juice of a lemon, plus the used lemon halves. Peel and trim the artichokes pulling off the tough outer leaves and discard. Using a paring knife trim away any tough parts around the base and stem of the artichoke. With a serrated knife, cut the top third of the artichoke and discard. Put cleaned artichokes in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice. If you make the soup using fresh artichokes you don’t need to add lemon juice to the soup.
Source: adapted from a recipe by Lidias-Italy