This rich, satisfying vegetable stew celebrates the first vegetables of spring--artichokes, leeks, carrots and peas. For a truly indulgent flair, omit the butter at the end and drizzle each serving with a little truffle oil.
dried morels, (see Note) or porcini mushrooms (1/4 cup)
extra-virgin olive oil
medium leeks, white part only, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch dice
finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
reduced-sodium vegetable broth
baby lima beans, fresh or frozen
shelled fresh peas, (about 1 1/2 pounds unshelled) or frozen peas
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
chopped fresh chives
chopped fresh parsley
with warm water in a small bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid. Rinse the mushrooms well under cold water; drain and chop. Strain the reserved liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel to remove any dirt.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with water; juice the lemon and, reserving half the juice, add the rest along with the lemon halves to the water. Pull off outer leaves from an artichoke
. Using a small, sharp knife, remove the leaves down to the heart. Trim the bottom of the stem, then peel the stem. Scrape out the choke with a melon baller or spoon. Cut the heart into quarters and place in the lemon water to prevent browning. Repeat with the remaining artichokes.
Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, garlic, thyme, mushrooms and the artichoke
hearts; cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, salt and the reserved mushroom liquid. Cover and cook over low heat until the artichoke hearts and carrots are almost tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Stir in lima beans and peas. Increase heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes more. Stir in butter and the reserved lemon juice. Season with pepper. Serve the stew in shallow bowls, garnished with chives
Note: Morel mushrooms are cone-shaped, with a honeycombed structure and a smoky flavor. Look for fresh morels at your farmers' market
or supermarket in the spring; they are sold dried year-round.
Calories 271, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 7 mg, Sodium 646 mg, Carbohydrate 45 g, Fiber 14 g, Protein 11 g, Potassium 1005 mg. Daily Values: Vitamin A 110%, Vitamin C 90%, Calcium 15%, Iron 30%. Exchanges: Starch 1,Vegetable 5,Fat 1.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet