a vegetable that i love but hate to prep is the artichoke. the season for artichokes is nearing the end so i thought i should buy and cook a few before it was too late, since almost all artichokes in the us are grown in california. i was thinking about roasting them, but didn’t want to turn the oven on for just a few artichokes. the weekend was particularly blustery so a comforting warm bowl of soup was welcome. a look inside of the fridge revealed all of the ingredients for a classic spring vegetable stew. i used frozen shelled edamame and peas instead of fresh favas and fresh english peas because i am moving soon and want to eat everything in my fridge and pantry. i, however, did use a couple lovely, sweet, new carrots with the greens still attached. i wish i had fresh parsley and mint to toss in the end to provide a bit of lift, but even without, this was pretty tasty. this is a really brothy stew that goes well with a crusty heel of bread. just be sure to be aggressive when prepping the artichokes other wise their will be tough fibrous artichoke leaves floating around; nothing terrible but quite annoying to eat.
spring vegetable stew
adapted from smitten kitchen
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4 medium artichokes prepped to the point that you remove the choke and sliced into eighths (please refer to here for all of the steps and dont be alarmed at the pile of trimmings for your compost bucket)
3 smallish carrots, diced
2 green garlic stalks sliced
1 small onion diced
1 cupish shelled fava beans or frozen edamame
1 cupish fresh or frozen english peas
1 large lemon
handful of chopped parsley and mint
large pinch of dried thyme or a sprig of fresh thyme, stripped
while prepping your artichokes, be sure to have a bowl of water with some lemon juice to keep the artichokes from browning too much. when everything is prepped, heat a heavy bottomed skillet or small dutch oven over medium heat with enough olive oil to cover the bottom. add the carrots, onion, and green garlic and saute until the onion is translucent. add the artichokes and thyme, and season. add enough vegetable stock to almost cover all of the vegetables and bring the heat down to simmer. let the artichokes cook until nearly tender (maybe 20 minutes?)
if you are using favas, par boil them while the artichokes are simmering. add these (or the edamame) to the artichokes along with the peas and simmer until just cooked. check the seasoning and turn the heat off and add the fresh herbs. serve with some bread and maybe a bit of goat cheese.