Legendary Dishes | Zuppa di Cardi / Cardone (wild artichoke soup)


This is a dish of the Italian pennines, specifically Abruzzo east of Rome where wild artichoke is a popular ingredient. It comes alive in this clever soup that calls for seasoned pork meatballs flavoured with parsley.

  • 2.2 litres water
  • 1 capon / 1 small chicken
  • 800 g fresh wild artichoke, cleaned, cubed, immersed in lemon juice and water, hearts cubed
  • 500 g pork, minced
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lemon, for cleansing artichoke
  • 140 g stale bread, cubed
  • 120 g Parmigiano cheese / hard cheese
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 15 g black pepper
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp salt
  • 12 sprigs parsley

Make a stock with the whole chicken, tomatoes and stalks of the parsley.

After the artichoke is cleaned and immersed, cook in salted water for several hours until it is tender.

Combine the pork mince with the black pepper and a teaspoon of salt and the parsley leaves, chopped small. Shape into small meatballs.

Warm a tray in a hot oven. Drizzle about a tablespoon of oil in the tray. Place the cubed bread in the tray, toss in the oil. Bake in the oven for a few minutes, until the croutons have turned golden-brown.

Cook the meatballs in the chicken stock, add the artichokes, heat through.

Beat an egg, add two tablespoons of cheese. Serve the soup, stir in the egg-cheese mixture. Repeat for each diner. Dress with croutons.