Jerusalem artichokes are an ugly beast. That is the joy of getting a veg box. One week you get dirty sticks (salsify), then aliens (kholrabi), and now possibly the trickiest vegetable to peel known to man. Anyway, they really are very good for you, with lots of vitamins and minerals. Lots of iron, which is very good for me as I’ll take any iron I can get, and also a prebiotic called inulin. This promotes bacteria production, obviously as a prebiotic, and is why this vegetable is renowned for its effect on the human body. The best description I ever saw?? Fartichokes. Genius. But then I have a nearly 3-year-old and all bodily functions are hilarious in this house. I’m hoping that because I got a girl this will wear off, but I do like a puerile joke even now, so perhaps this is an unrealistic dream. The soup itself is deliciously sweet with fresh flavours. The artichokes make it seem creamy by adding a velvet texture without the need for dairy or potato. Although sophisticated enough to serve to guests, you’d have to pick them carefully. The very young and the very old (who don’t care or find it hysterical) would be fine. Your best friend the first time you meet her new boyfriend, perhaps not. Since I sleep alone I’ve got no one to offend, so if you’re in the same position I’d recommend a cold night when the extra warm air keeping your duvet nice and toasty would be welcome. 😉 By the way, this was going to be artichoke and mushroom soup (equally fabulous) but life got in the way, the mushrooms went in some pasta, and the carrots went bendy until all they were good for was soup. Isn’t that just the way it goes sometimes?
Jerusalem artichoke and carrot soup
Prep time 10 minutes Cook time 30 minutes Makes 2-3 (adult) servings
- 1 tbsp oil or 15g butter
- 1 small/medium onion, chopped
- 1 stick celery, sliced
- approx. 350g Jersualem artichokes, peeled and rougly diced
- approx. 350g carrots, scrubbed, topped and tailed and thickly sliced
- 750ml stock, vegetable or light chicken
- salt and pepper
- chives (or cheatin’ chives) to garnish
Heat the butter or oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the onion and celery for 5 minutes over a low heat. In the meantime, prepare your carrots and then the Jerusalem artichokes. The Jerusalem artichokes will discolour over time, although nothing like as quickly as salsify, so either have a bowl of cold, lemony water to pop them into or prepare them last. Tip the carrots and artichokes in with the onion and celery and sweat over a low heat, with the lid on, for 10 minutes. Add the stock, stir and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Check the veggies are soft with the tip of knife, and simmer some more if not done. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth with either a stick blender or a liquidizer, and return to the pan when done to reheat if necessary. Season well to taste. Serve in warmed bowls or mugs with the chives snipped on top. If you don’t have chives but you do have onions that are sprouting, the green shoot makes an excellent alternative.