Artichoke Soup with Crispy Salami and Lemon-Parsley Quinoa
For the soup:
2 (14-oz.) cans artichoke hearts, drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp fennel seeds
Salt and pepper
For the quinoa:
1/2 cup dried quinoa
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp. lemon zest (from about 1 lemon), plus 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 large thin slices genoa salami
Preheat the oven to 350º. In a medium saucepan, add the artichoke hearts, the garlic, half of the chicken stock and half of the cream; cook over medium heat until warmed through. Add the fennel seeds and season generously with salt and pepper; turn off the heat. Using a hand blender, puree the mixture until almost smooth. Gradually add more stock and cream as needed to achieve the consistency you want, continuing to puree with the blender until the soup is very smooth.
Place the salami slices on a rimmed baking sheet and cook until crispy all over and browned on the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Once cooled, roughly chop.
Cook the quinoa according to package directions, or a little less than suggested for a crunchier consistency. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl, then mix in the lemon zest and juice, parsley leaves, and salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.
Quickly reheat the soup if needed. Ladle into 4 bowls, and top each with a generous spoonful of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the crispy salami.