Recipe of the Month: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Pizzazz

March 02 2020
Recipe of the Month: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Pizzazz

With Ann Murray of Cooking4 cookery school in Chipping Sodbury

AS I write this, Storm Dennis is blowing a gale and the rain is lashing down. So, what better than a hearty soup to keep you cheerful? This simple soup, made from Jerusalem artichokes, or celeriac as an alternative, is rich and creamy. The toppings you choose can make it hearty and homely or luxurious if you decide to push the boat out and use scallops.

Don’t be put off by the knobbliness of the artichokes or celeriac. You will need to peel them with a speedy peeler, but if you’ve given them a good scrub to get any mud off, you needed worry about getting every little bit of skin off in the crevices.

Two warnings come with artichokes. One, be aware that if you plant them in your garden, they will take over. So, unless you plan to use them a lot, just buy them in season. Two, artichokes are notorious for producing flatulence! So maybe don’t make this recipe for a first date.

I’ve been married for so long now that we are used to each other, so as the afternoon darkens I’m off to make a big batch – and to hell with the consequences. 

Serves 4 as a lunch dish, or 6 as a starter.

 

Ingredients:

  • Spanish (mild) onion – 1 large one, finely chopped.

  • Potatoes – 2 or 3 large sweet potatoes, plus 2 large ordinary potatoes, about 500g (just over 1lb) of each.

  • Jerusalem artichokes – about 500g (just over 1lb).

  • Vegetable stock – 1½ litres (just over 2 pints) made with either a good quality stock cube, preferably organic or take advantage of all the super root veg and seasonal celery and make your own.

  • A little olive oil for frying.

  • Crème fraiche – 1 dessertspoonful per serving.

     

 Topping alternatives:

  • Crispy fried onion strips – as per the picture.

  • Pumpkin seeds and fresh thyme leaves.

  • Crispy bacon sticks.

  • Fresh scallops – 4 to 6 (one per serving.) Cut each one onto fine strips and lay on the bottom of the soup bowl. When you pour in the soup the heat will cook the scallop beautifully.

 

Here’s What You Do:

 

  1. Take a large frying pan and heat it first, then add the oil and fry off the chopped onions until they soften, but don’t brown.

  2. Peel and chop the 2 types of potatoes and the artichoke into small cubes of about ½ inch.

  3. Add the stock, the potatoes and the artichokes to the onions in the pan.

  4. Bring the pan slowly to the boil and then turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft (about 10-15 mins).

  5. Allow to cool slightly then, using a food processor or blender, blitz the soup until well- blended.

  6. Return the soup to the pan and bring back to temperature.

  7. Add salt and pepper to your own liking.

  8. Place a spoonful of the crème fraiche on the top of the soup and swirl.

  9. Add your preferred topping. 

  10. Serve immediately.

 

Cook’s note

Jerusalem artichokes are in season in January to March, but you could use celeriac for a change, and top with crispy bacon pieces.