Emeril's Oyster Artichoke Soup
What’s for Christmas Eve dinner? How about this decadent soup from Chef Emeril Lagasse.
2 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
2 large artichokes, 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. each
1 lemon, halved
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. celery, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock (canned, low sodium broth)
1 pint oysters with their liquid
1/4 cup dry vermouth
2 Tbsp dry white wine
2 Tbsp. half-and-half (more as needed)
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Combine 2 1/2 quarts of water, 2 tablespoons of salt, peppercorns and two of the bay leaves in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Trim the tough outer skins from the artichoke stems and remove the bottom row of leaves. Carefully add the artichokes and lemon halves to the boiling water and return to a boil. Using tongs, place a heavy, heat-resistant plate on top of the artichokes to keep them submerged, reduce the heat and cook at a low simmer until the artichokes are tender and a paring knife inserted into the heart pierces easily, about 20-25 minutes. Drain in a colander and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Remove the large outer leaves and scrape the meat from each into a small bowl. Remove and discard the spiky inner leaves. Scrape the hairy choke from the hearts and discard. Roughly chop the hearts and the stems and add to the bowl of artichoke meat. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook, stirring until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, thyme and the remaining bay leaf and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant, 30-45 seconds. Add the reserved artichoke meat, chopped artichoke hearts and stems and the flour and cook, stirring constantly until the flour is incorporated into the mixture. Add the remaining ingredients, including the oysters and their liquid, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and discard.
Remove the soup from the heat and, using an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans and Louisiana Kitchen & Culture magazine.