I ate this in a Spanish restaurant recently and it was fab. My own version was not quite so spectacular but it's still well worth a go and bean and artichokes are everywhere you look this week.
Knob of butter
1 onion, diced
1 lemon thyme sprig
2 garlic cloves, roughly sliced
1 bay leaf
small bacon joint, abut 600g
2 white potatoes, peeled and cubed
11⁄2 litres hot chicken stock
800g small broad beans, shell as many as you can be bothered to
2 fresh artichoke hearts, cut into chunks
lemon juice and olive oil, to serve
Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, garlic and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes util softened.
Cut a couple off thin slices off the bacon and set aside. Roughly cube the rest and add to the pan with the potatoes and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the beans and artichokes to the pan and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Take out a good few spoon of the beans and a few artichoke chunks out of the pan and set aside. Whiz the rest until very smooth then return the vegetables.
Grill the reserved bacon until crispy. Season the soup, adding lemon juice, to taste. Ladle into bowls and scatter with bacon and olive oil.