4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 leeks, white part only, washed well and chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 medium or 2 small potato, peeled and chopped
2 (8-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
4 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup half & half
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and the garlic and stir. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the artichokes, stock, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
*Using a handheld immersion blender, or in a blender in small amounts, puree the soup. Add the yogurt & half and half.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top with sprinkled parmesan cheese and chives.
* Blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.