Globe artichoke soup with nutmeg and truffle oil
Although truffles are traditionally found using pigs and are, therefore, not vegan, the majority (99.9%) of truffle oil is vegan. Only the very very expensive truffles are found with pigs in forests. Cheaper truffles are grown by food manufacturers in factories and no animals are used.
Serves 2 as a starter
2 large globe artichokes
1 lemon, cut in half
1 bowl of water
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1t stock powder
Salt to taste
2t truffle oil
Prep the globe artichoke by removing the stalk and outer leaves. Cut in half, remove the choke. It is advised to wear gloves whilst doing this as the thistles inside (choke) can poke into your skin and the artichoke can make your hands taste very bitter. Cut the artichoke into quarters and rub with the lemon. Put into the bowl of water.
Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan, add the onion and celery, lower the heat and put a lid or plate on top. This will help to sweat the onion and celery making it cook well without too much oil.
Once the onions are translucent, around 10 minutes, add the garlic, cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the stock, salt, water, artichoke and a good grating of nutmeg. Turn the heat up, once it is boiling reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the artichoke is soft. Remove from the heat, blend with a hand / immersion blender or in a jug blender that is suitable for hot liquids. Blend the soup until it is completely smooth. The smooth texture will really make quite a difference. Decorate with another grating of nutmeg and a drizzle of truffle oil.