Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jerusalem Artichoke Recipe: Creamy No-Dairy Vegetable Soup

Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes, are outstanding for making silky, thick creamy soups in combination with a variety of winter vegetables. Adding cream or milk is not necessary to achieve a satisfying, delicious, elegant soup.

Easy to Grow, Easy to Eat
Last spring we planted Jerusalem artichokes and this fall and winter we have been creating recipes to enjoy the tasty harvest from our garden.  Jerusalem artichokes, or  sunchokes, are native to North America and were first eaten by Native Americans. They are hardy and easy to grow and produce abundant sunflowers and edible tubers.

You can find them at farmer's markets, select grocery stores, or from your CSA, but for a reliable supply throughout the fall and winter try growing them yourself. They have a mild nutty taste, and are perfect for growing along a sunny fence as part of  your edible landscape. See my previous post for more details and a recipe for sunchokes and sautéed mushrooms.


Creamy Sunchoke and Carrot Soup
Cooked sunchokes have a creamy texture and earthy flavor that makes for really delicious pureed soups. You can make the soup with different veggie combinations. Try potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, winter squash, or even spinach.

You Will Need

  • 2 cups Sunchokes, cleaned and cut into ½ inch pieces, about 4 – 5 sunchokes

  • 2 cups carrots (or other vegetable), cleaned, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks, about 3 – 4 carrots

  • 1 medium onion, diced (or 2 leeks sliced thinly, or 2 -3 shallots sliced thinly)

  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 4 cups of vegetable broth

Olive oil to saute the vegetables
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon curry powder, if desired
To Prepare Sunchokes
Scrub any remaining soil off of the tubers with a vegetable brush under running water. If you have trouble cleaning between the bumby parts just break them up. It's not necessary to peel off the thin skin. Slice the tubers about 1/2 inch thick.

Cook the Vegetables 
Warm up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large heavy bottomed soup pot. Add the diced onion and garlic and cook on medium to low heat until they soften and begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sunchokes and carrots pieces and stir to coat with the olive oil and onions. Add 3 cups of the broth so that the vegetables are just beginning to float but still crowded (you don’t want to end up with a thin soup) and simmer covered for about 20 – 25 minutes

Puree the Soup
Add more broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper and the curry powder, if desired. Using an immersion blender (stick blender) or conventional blender, puree the soup until all of the vegetables have been processed into a silky, smooth, thick soup. Add more broth or water if it is too thick.

Serve or Store
Serve warm immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container to use within a few days.

 This post was also published @ Eat, Drink, Better
Photos: Urban Artichoke

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