When my husband Marc and I tried the first spoonful of this soup, we fell silent and closed our eyes. The delicate taste of the cardoons was perfectly balanced with the earthy flavor of the truffles, and the smoothness of the soup was superbly contrasted by their slight crunch.
It was heaven on a spoon!
Food & wine pairing: Alsace, Pinot Gris with cardoon soup
A full-bodied white wine that’s not too acidic is a must for this soup. I recommend either a Pinot Gris from Alsace or a Pouilly-Fuissé from Burgundy.
Cardoon soup with black truffle Carpaccio
active time: 30 min
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium Vidalia or Spanish onion – skinned, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 8 oz (225 g) Yukon Gold potato (1 large) – peeled and cut in 1/2” cubes
- 2 1/2 lbs (1.1 kg) blanched cardoons
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 3 cups spring water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 8 Italian parsley sprigs & 6 thyme sprigs – tied in a bundle with kitchen string
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- half a 2.8 oz (79 g) jar Black Truffle Carpaccio or truffle oil as garnish
- 1/4 cup finely chopped chives as garnish
- Step 1: Heat a large heavy-bottomed soup pot at medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onion, stir well and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, until just golden, stirring from time to time. Add the garlic and wine. Stir well and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the wine has reduced to a syrupy sauce and has almost all evaporated. Add the potato cubes, blanched cardoons, stock, water, salt, pepper to taste and herb bundle. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot and slow-simmer for 40 minutes until the cardoons are very tender. Remove the herb bundle and discard.
- Step 2: Purée the soup with a stick blender or food processor until very smooth. Strain in a medium sieve and return to the soup pot and gently re-heat at medium heat. Add the crème fraîche and stir until well incorporated. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Ladle the soup into soup bowls, put a spoonful of black truffle carpaccio (or a spoonful of truffle oil) in the center, sprinkle with the chives and serve immediately.
- Cook’s note: You can replace the cardoons with frozen artichoke hearts. Use two 8 oz packages of artichoke hearts and reduce the water to 2 1/2 cups. Make the soup and strain exactly as for the cardoon soup.