Artichoke Bisque with Pomegranate Seeds

YIELD

8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 Boggiatto® Large Artichokes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 4 tbsps creme fraiche
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

METHOD

  1. Wash artichokes under cold, running water. Trim the outer leaves and stem.
  2. In a large soup pot, melt the butter and saute’ the onions and celery over low heat until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the artichokes, potatoes, chicken stock, salt and white pepper. Add the juice of half of the lemon and set aside other half for garnish. Bring soup mixture to a boil.
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the artichokes are very soft.
  5. Puree’ the soup with a hand-held, immersion blender or in a food processor.
  6. Return soup to the pot and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Strain through a fine chinoise, pushing as much of the ingredients through as possible.
  7. Bring the soup back to a boil and add the cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add sherry. Continue to simmer until the soup reaches the desired consistency.
  8. Place the pomegranate flower end down and you’ll see a natural star pattern of ridges going top to bottom and round the circumference of the fruit. Score along those lines with a sharp knife and, working over a large bowl of water, carefully pull the thick skin apart to separate it into five or six sections.
  9. With your hands under the water, separate the seeds from the membranes. Small pieces of membrane will rise to the top, while the seeds will sink. After removing all of the seeds, discard the large pieces of skin and membrane and scoop out the seeds and place in a small bowl.
  10. Ladle a serving of the soup into a pre-heated soup bowl set atop a plate, add a dollop of creme fraiche, and sprinkle the soup and plate with the pomegranate seeds. Garnish with lemon wheels.

Chef Beat Giger

Recipe by:

CEC, AAC, Corporate Chef Pebble Beach Resorts; Pebble Beach, CA

Chef's comment:

"Boggiatto® Artichokes are used in a traditional and wonderfully easy way as a soup, and the pomegranate seeds add jeweled color and crunch."