Wild Rice and Artichoke Soup

I made this for dinner the other night and loved it, so I thought I'd share the recipe. It's a perfect winter soup, with very subtle but intricate flavors. It comes from "The City Palate," Calgary's bimonthly food paper.

1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (I don't like celery, so I omitted it)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
6 cups rich chicken stock
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 tin baby artichokes, drained and halved (I tossed the liquid in with the broth)
Salt and white pepper to taste
2 cups half and half (I omitted this to make it a non-cream soup)
2/3 cup dry sherry
Chopped fresh parsley, chervil, and chives

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until golden. Add the mushrooms and celery and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour until well blended. Gradually add the stock and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes (I cooked and stirred until it boiled, then reduced the heat and proceeded). Stir in the rice and artichokes, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cream and the sherry. Continue to cook at a simmer until the taste of the flour is gone, about 10 more minutes (at this point the taste of the flour was already gone, so I stopped here). Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.

Additional notes: I threw in some diced leftover turkey with the artichokes and rice, which worked well. I also added the sherry to the roux before adding the stock to cook out more of the alcohol.

Source of recipe: COOKIM0NSTER