Jerusalem artichoke soup is one of my all time favourites.
They really are best this time of year, although you can get them up until late February, early March. They are a strange looking thing, and if you have never seen them before, I can assure you they do not look like how you may ave pictured them. They lack the beauty and grandeur of the globe artichoke. They look more like a knobbly and wizened old ginger root that someone forgot about. However, never ever has the old saying, “never judge a book by it’s cover”, been more apt. Jerusalem artichokes are ridiculously delicious. they have a deep, almost nutty flavour that lends itself to making the most gorgeous soup.
They aren’t that widely used, even though they are good value for money and are really versatile. The Eat the Seasons website states that this might be due to their “awkward appearance”….Poor Jerusalem artichokes! I don’t care that they aren’t handsome, it’s what on the inside that counts! As well as being delicious, they are very good for you! They are very rich in inulin, a carbohydrate linked with good intestinal health due to its prebiotic (bacteria promoting) properties. They are also full of vitamin C, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as being a great source of iron.
But I do feel I would be a very irresponsible food blogger if I didn’t warn you about one of their other..cough cough…erm…qualities. These health benefits come at a price; the “food can have a potent wind-producing effect”. Well put Eat the Seasons!
But a trifling thing like that is not enough to put you off making this soup, I promise you are going to absolutely love it!
You can get slightly different varieties of them, some of which are more knobbly than others. I got a particularly knobbly bunch which looked like a bag of witches noses. Not the most fun to peel, but just turn the radio up, grab a pal and get peeling. I promise it’s worth it! And if that isn’t enough, just spare a thought for me…I had to make enough to feed 20 people….
- glug of olive oil
- 1kg Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.6 litres chicken or vegetable stock
- 100ml double cream (or soya cream)
- Salt and pepper
- truffle oil, to finish (optional)
- drizzle of double cream to finish
- handful of crunchy croutons
- In large, heavy-based saucepan, pour in a glug of olive oil and put the pan over a low heat.
- Gently sweat the onions until soft - about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the artichokes and and cook for a minute or so.
- Now, add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the artichokes can be easily mashed against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Leave to cool slightly.
- Liquidise the soup until smooth (you may need to do this in batches). You can either do this in a blender, or I tend to just use my food processor....mainly because I do not have a blender. But either will work just fine.
- Then return to the pot. Warm over a medium heat, add the cream and season generously. Keep tasting it to check the seasoning.
- Serve in bowls with a drizzle of cream, a glug of truffle oil and a scattering of crunchy croutons. I also like to sprinkle mine with Red Amaranth because I just love how pretty it looks!
Now that is’t getting colder and winter is officially upon us as the clocks go back this weekend, soups make the perfect warming Winter meal. I would also really recommend serving soups as starters for dinner parties – they tend to be hassle free and are a lovely way to start any meal.