Artichoke Soup

1 lb artichoke
1 oz lean ham
1 stick celery
1 oz butter
1 bay leave
1 small onion
11/2 pints white stock
1/2 pint milk
1 tsp cream
2 egg Yolk
Pepper
Salt
Parsley stalks

1) Wash and brush the artichokes, putting them into a basin with clean cold water and peel carefully, changing the water as soon as it becomes dirty.

2) Place the artichokes as they are peeled into another basin of clean water, with a little vinegar or lemon juice in it, in order to preserve their colour.

3) Slice the onion thinly, and cut celery into shreds, and cut ham into small pieces.

4) Melt butter in an enamelled saucepan, add the artichokes, onion, ham, celery, bay leaf and parsley stalks.

5) Put lid on the pan and cook for 10mins, shaking the oan occasionally to prevent the contents burning.

6) Add stock, pepper and salt, and let all simmer gently from not to one and a half hours, or until the artichokes are soft.

7) Rub the soup through a hair sieve into a basin, then rinse out the saucepan and return the soup to reheat.

8) Put the flour into a basin, and add the milk gradually to it, mixing until quite smooth. Add this to the soup, and stir over heat until boiling.

9) Continue boiling for a few minutes, and add more seasoning if necessary. If cream and yolks are used for thickening, omit the flour and milk.

10) Beat the yolk of eggs and cream together in a basin, strain them into the soup, stirring all the time, and do not boil the soup again or it will curdle.