In This, as in other preparations where artichokes are cut or sliced, it is essential that a substantial portion of the artichoke—the tough, inedible part—be trimmed away before cooking. It may seem wasteful, but it is far more wasteful to put good ingredients and precious effort in a dish that becomes unchewable.
Do not use a knife or scissors on the large outer leaves. They must be pulled back and down by hand so that they will automatically snap off at the base where the tough part meets the tender. The inner core of leaves should be truncated with a sharp knife where the dark green color fades away.
Here we have an unusual and happy combination: the keen, earthy taste of artichokes with the sweet, mild taste of topinambur (Jerusalem artichokes). It’s not a soup where you look for crisp, undercooked morsels to crunch. The vegetables should be creamy and all but dissolve in your mouth. Therefore, be sure to give it sufficient cooking time and gentle heat.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.