Potatoes do marvelous things to such slow-cooked dishes as soups and stews. Acting like sponges, they draw flavor out of the other ingredients and concentrate it in themselves. In exchange, they give up some of their starch, which adds desirable density to a soup’s liquid or a stew’s juices. Here the artichoke, which can be rather a retiring vegetable if left to its own devices, finds its flavor broadcast boldly through the potato. If you like potatoes and you like artichokes, this soup can’t fail to please. Once you have trimmed the artichokes—and you must do that thoroughly unless you want to end up with unchewable matter in your mouth—there is nothing laborious about the making of the soup.
© 1997 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.