My state of origin is Missouri/Misery — one of the increasing number of states where women are now considered chattel (sorry/not sorry to bring up politics). But I was lucky enough to have: 1. A grandmother who was a Master Gardener and 2. Lived in Laguna Niguel, California. Long before we had access to anything “exotic” at our local grocer she would send us boxes of Meyer lemons and artichokes fresh from her back garden. The photo above is a scene from the very beginning of my love affair with my favorite vegetable.
Nearly five decades later the opening of a Trader Joe’s in Boulder introduced 12-ounce bags of frozen artichoke hearts in the freezer section for $3.29. And suddenly, the ways in which I could express my love for the vegetable — a member of the thistle family — multiplied.
Yes, yes, YES – I get it. It’s totally not the same thing as a fresh artichoke and yes, I know they are not organic. And this does give me great pause. But when I asked a certain local chain to source frozen artichoke hearts for me back in 2010 the only ones they could find where $18 for 12 oz. Gulp. So I take my chances and hope that an article I read about one of the biggest growers in California switching to more organic methods is actually the case with these 'chokes.
In the Instant Pot:
Add oil, garlic and onion when using the Sauté mode. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the celery, salt and pepper. Cook for another 4 minutes or so.
Stir in the water/broth and add the artichoke hearts.
Secure lid to Sealing and Manually set the Pressure Cook setting for five minutes at high. Quick release when the program ends.
Once the soup has cooled a bit, puree in a blender until silky smooth. Add lemon and extra salt to taste.
On the Stove:
Follow the same directions to sauté and then cook the artichokes with the broth for about 20 minutes. Follow directions listed above once the soup has cooled.
Garnish with croutons, roasted chickpeas, fresh chives, parsley…
And so what's so great about artichokes? They are high in fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium. Considered a prebiotic in the form of inulin a type of fiber, and super high in antioxidants (some say they are the number one vegetable). NOTE: I purposely did not photograph the soup because while it is very tasty, it is not so very pretty.