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Artichoke Soup

3 tb Butter
1 1/2 tb Shallots or green onions - minced
1 1/2 tb Flour
3 1/2 c Chicken stock
3 c Artichoke bottoms or crowns - drained (1 lb. cans)
1 c Half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in 6- to 7-inch skillet over medium heat, allowing it to brown slightly. Add shallots and saute briefly. Stir in flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Heat chicken stock in 2-qt. saucepan. Add flour mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Puree artichoke crowns in food processor or blender. Add thickened chicken stock and half-and-half and blend thoroughly, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold.

NOTE: May be made ahead and refrigerated. This one can be served hot or cold. Also good for those who would fear fooling with fresh artichokes. If made with vegetable broth, could also be vegetarian.

Serves 4 to 6.

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