Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

There’s probably nothing more common to make with Jerusalem artichokes (or “sunchokes”, as they’re also called) than soup, and there’s a plethora of recipes available just a quick google search away. Nevertheless, we wanted to share our own version – or actually versions, because it seems we really can’t choose a favorite here! Anyway, let’s start from the beginning. Jerusalem artichokes are those funny looking tubers you’ll find in just about any grocery store – they’re starchy, just like potatoes, but the nutty, almost sweet flavor is not like that of any other root vegetable. They’re glorious just roasted in the oven, or sliced thin and baked into flavor bursting chips (a very sophisticated snack to welcome your dinner guests with, if we may humbly suggest so). And, of course, they’re fantastic in soup. Before we lose ourselves completely in soup galore though, a little heads up: Jerusalem artichokes contain inulin, which is a more or less indigestible form of carbohydrates that can cause… a touch of bloating. Now, the reaction is very individual – those with IBS might want to be careful with their consumption, while those with a healthy gut flora can munch away and be fine. See, inulin acts as a food source for your beneficial gut bacteria (hence the increased activity), and can therefore actually promote a happy bowel environment. And you know what? You can easily build up your tolerance for inulin, so a small bowl of soup today could mean a much bigger next week. Point is, don’t give up on Jerusalem artichokes. They’re way too delicious to be given the cold shoulder.

Here, we’ve used both roasted and boiled tubers – it makes for the best flavor (in our opinion) and is totally worth the extra work. In order to make the soup decadent and creamy without using actual heavy cream, we blended cannellini and oat milk until silky smooth and stirred that into the puréed ‘chokes. Opting out of heavy cream here only means going more eco-friendly and upping the nutritious value of the meal – not that we’re afraid of fat. Remember how we couldn’t pick a favorite though? The other version that we just LOVE comes with coconut milk – if you’re intrigued by this concept, just substitute 2/3 cup (1.5 dl) coconut milk for the oat milk/bean combination, and use white wine vinegar instead of balsamic. If you end up trying both – or either – let us know! Oh and while the crispy sage looks unbelievably pretty, it’s not all for show. They’re delicious, and the contrast in texture does elevate the dish a little further. That’s all! Happy soup Thursday!

För recept på svenska, klicka här: Jordärtskockssoppa

Makes 6-8 servings

2 pounds 10 ounces (1200 grams) Jerusalem artichokes
1 big leek, approx. 1 pound 5 ounces (500-600 grams)
4 garlic cloves
8-10 thyme twigs
2 tablespoons bouillon powder
1 2/3 cups (4 dl) oat milk
2 cups (5 dl) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
25-30 sage leaves (approx. 4 per person)
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil

Set your oven to 390°F (200°C). Scrub the Jerusalem artichokes clean (no need to peel) and quarter them. Place roughly half in an oven dish, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a good grind of black pepper. Roast for about 25 min (or until soft), tossing them halfway through. Meanwhile, cut the leek lengthwise and then slice thinly. Chop the garlic. In a big pot, sauté the leek over medium heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 5-10 min, stirring often to prevent any browning. Add in the garlic and the remaining half of the Jerusalem artichokes and continue cooking for another few minutes. Pour in 7 cups (1.6 liters) of water, stir in the bouillon powder and add the thyme twigs, preferably tied together with kitchen twine (this will make them easier to remove later on). Bring to a boil and then let simmer over low heat for 20 min, or until the ‘chokes are soft. In the meantime, place the beans and oat milk in a bowl (if using a stick blender) or food processor and blend until silky smooth. Set aside.

When the Jerusalem artichokes are cooked through, turn off the heat, add in the roasted Jerusalem artichokes and remove the thyme. Using a stick blender, purée the soup until smooth. Add in the bean-oat milk mixture and give it another go with the stick blender. Stir in balsamic vinegar and season to taste (if your bouillon powder is on the salty side, you might not need to add any extra here). In a small frying pan, heat up enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Put the sage leaves in, and fry for 1-2 minutes per side until crispy. Place leaves on a piece of paper towel to dry off slightly. Serve the soup in big bowls and garnish with a few crispy sage leaves.

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