Spring Nettle Soup, Georgia Olive Oil, Pickled Artichokes, and Preserved Meyer Lemon

Adapted by StarChefs.com
May 2012
Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Spring Nettle Soup
1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and julienned
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large Idaho potato, peeled and small diced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
vegetable stock
6 ounces heavy cream
coarse salt
3 pounds fresh stinging nettles
8 ounces fresh chervil
black pepper
cayenne
Pickled Artichokes
2 artichokes, turned and braised
8 ounces granulated sugar
8 ounces Champagne vinegar
8 ounces cold water
Meyer Lemon Purée
3 preserved Meyer lemons, seeds removed
½ ounce granulated sugar
4 ounces fresh lemon juice
3 ounces olive oil
Brioche Crisps
4 slices brioche, crusts removed
Coarse clarified butter
sel gris
To Assemble and Serve
coarse salt
Georgia lemon juice
olive oil
chive blossoms
Young Chive tips
chervil leaves

METHOD:

For the Spring Nettle Soup:

In a medium saucepot, combine the onions and garlic with the olive oil. Sweat over medium heat until onions are soft and translucent; do not caramelize. Add potatoes, thyme, and bay leaf to the pot, cover with vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are just tender; be careful to not overcook potatoes. Transfer to a blender, add the heavy cream and process on high until very smooth. Pass mixture through fine strainer or chinois. Chill over an ice bath until cool, reserve in refrigerator for later use.

Fill a large saucepot with water and bring to a boil, season generously with salt. Once boiling, cook the nettles in small batches until tender (about 30 seconds), transferring each batch to an ice bath immediately after cooking. Cook the chervil in the same manner, transferring immediately to an ice bath. Remove all greens from ice bath and wring dry in a paper towel

Place the nettles and chervil in a blender, add just enough cold vegetable stock to cover. Process on high until smooth, about 5 minutes, strain through a chinois into a medium bowl. Whisk in enough of the potato mixture until desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and a touch of cayenne.

For the Pickled Artichokes:

Cut the braised artichokes into 8 pieces; place into a medium container. In a medium saucepot combine sugar, vinegar, and water, and bring to a boil. Pour boiling pickle liquid over artichokes. Transfer to a refrigerator to cool. Allow the artichokes to pickle for at least 4 hours.

For the Meyer Lemon Purée:

In a blender combine Meyer lemons, sugar, and lemon juice. Process on high until smooth, slowly add olive oil until combined. Strain through chinois; store in refrigerator.

For the Brioche Crisps:

Preheat oven to 325°F degrees. Run bread through a pasta roller until very thin, but not falling apart. Cut brioche into rectangles, brush with clarified butter and season with salt. Bake on parchment paper between two pressing boards. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

To Assemble and Serve:

Warm the Spring Nettle Soup in a medium saucepot, adjust seasoning with salt and lemon. Divide among 4 bowls. Drizzle each bowl of soup with Georgia olive oil. Place a Brioche Crisps over each bowl, resting it on the rim. Garnish with the Pickled Artichokes, chive tips, chive blossoms, chervil, and dot with Meyer lemon Purée.