Jerusalem artichoke soup with croutons
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
The jerusalem artichoke is no relation to the globe artichoke, however, some cooks find a similarity in taste. Choose tubers that are larger with less knobbly bits as they can be a fiddle to peel and you don’t want to waste too much. Fortunately, newer varieties tend to be less knobbly. This is a thin soup, so croutons will add texture and body to the soup. See the note below the recipe for how to make your own. Top soup with a few snipped chives and chopped soft thyme leaves.
- Peel the jerusalem artichokes, cut into pieces and place in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice (to stop them discolouring).
- Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the prepared jerusalem artichokes, onion, garlic and celery and cook for 5 minutes until beginning to soften, but not colouring. Add the stock and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. You could also grate over a little nutmeg.
- Turn up the heat and bring up to a boil, then lower the heat, partially cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the jerusalem artichokes are tender.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little before placing in a blender and blending until smooth.
- Return the soup to the saucepan and heat. Ladle into 4 warmed soup bowls, drizzle each bowl of soup with a little cream, if using, and top with the croutons. Alternatively, serve the croutons separately so you can help yourself.
How to make croutons
Cut 4 slices of day-old sourdough into small cubes. Heat 2-3 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the bread cubes and fry, tossing them so they brown on all sides. Remove from the pan, lightly salt and serve. Alternatively, brush slices of bread with olive oil and chargrill until dark grill lines appear on both sides of the bread slices.
More of Kathy's winter soups