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Stanford Court Hotel Cream of Artichoke Soup

Source: Stanford Court Hotel - San Francisco, California

6 large artichokes
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts
3 tablespoons rice flour, available at Asian grocery stores
6 tablespoons cold water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dry sherry

Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam or boil artichokes. Cool and remove leaves, scoop out, and discard feathery choke. Drop artichoke bottoms into a pot with the chicken stock. Use only the artichoke bottoms for this recipe. (Eat the leaves with vinaigrette sauce, or scrape pulp off each leaf and add to stock.)

Toast hazelnuts in a 250 degree F oven for 10 minutes until golden brown. Crush them very finely in a food processor. Add nuts to the stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer artichoke bottoms and nuts for 30 minutes. Puree mixture in a food processor.

Return puree to pot. Mix rice flour with water. Stir into soup and gradually bring to a boil; stir constantly to thicken. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in cream and sherry. Season to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

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