Artichoke soup includes hazelnuts

RECIPE FINDER

July 10, 2002|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,SUN STAFF

Carol C. Meyers of Towson says she is a cookbook collector but cannot find a recipe for a dish that she had recently at Timothy's Restaurant and Bar on the riverfront in Wilmington, Del.

"It was too dark to read the menu, but a few choice complaints got the lights turned on. My son and I ordered the soup du jour and loved it. It was cream-based, with artichokes. Sounds awful, but it was delicious. My children are all big cooks and it would be a coup if I could find them a new recipe."

Claire L. Mann of St. Michaels says she enjoys responding to Recipe Finder requests and has sent in recipes on many occasions. She notes that she has hundreds of cookbooks, has traveled extensively and has done a vast amount of entertaining on land and sea.

"The cream of artichoke soup is absolutely outstanding and every time I stayed at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco, it was a `must have,' " she says. "The chef was kind enough to honor me with his recipe and now maybe I can help Carol Meyers of Towson who is seeking the recipe.

"When I prepare it, I go to the full extent of scraping off all the meat from each leaf and it does enhance the flavor. Then to properly present it, it must be served in a beautiful cream soup bowl. I, personally, and all my guests, never wanted to subtract or add any ingredient to this recipe," says Mann.

Cream of Artichoke Soup

Serves 4 to 6

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 and 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 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, stirring constantly to thicken. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cream and sherry, season to taste. Serve immediately.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The delicate flavor of roasted hazelnuts gives this soup incredible and unexpected savor and a wonderful aroma. It is a gorgeous wintry puree, but the color is a pale-greenish brown. To gussy up the look of the soup, think of swirling in a bit of creme fraiche or topping the dish with chopped chives before serving."

Recipe requests

Dawn Ehle of Fayetteville, N.C., was brief in her request for a "Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie, which is served warm with ice cream and chocolate and caramel syrups. This pie is served at Chili's and is oh so delicious."

Gordon L. Crooks II of Cockeysville has lost a recipe and cannot recall the name of it. He says it is a Spanish recipe that calls for some "baker's cocoa unsweetened. It has some Spanish sausage in it and was made in a corn-bread mixture and baked in the oven or slow-cooked in an iron skillet on top of the stove. It also had ingredients like beans and I think other things."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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