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Creamy Artichoke Soup with Lemony Mushrooms

It's a lovely and interesting first course, hot or cold, and goes well with chops and chicken or strong seafood. Serve fairly generous portions to 4 people. The soup looks lovely in flat soup plates, garnished with those savory mushrooms.

Garnish: 4-6 mushrooms, thinly sliced, and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Bring stock to a boil in a large saucepan--then add artichokes, potato, onion, and seasonings. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Puree the soup then press through a sieve, discarding solids.

Meanwhile, saute mushrooms over high heat in a little butter and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, stirring often. Cook until dark around the edges and concentrated--the liquid will have totally evaporated.

When ready to serve, reheat the puree, stir in the cream, and bring to a simmer. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with mushrooms. This soup can also be served cold.