Looking like knobbly new potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes have a distinctive, yet delicate, flavour that goes well with other root vegetables, particularly in a smooth-textured soup. Sweetly aromatic caraway seeds complement the vegetable flavours and transform an unassuming, familiar dish into something rather special.
Use vegetable stock, preferably home-made rich instead of chicken stock. * For celeriac and parsnip soup, use 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) peeled and chopped celeriac instead of Jerusalem artichokes, and 2 chopped parsnips instead of carrots. Omit the celery. * Bacon is delicious with artichokes and other root vegetables. Cook 115 g (4 oz) rinded and chopped smoked back bacon in the butter, then remove with a draining spoon and set aside. Add the vegetables and continue as in the recipe. Sprinkle the bacon over the soup instead of carrot, together with wholemeal toast cut into croutons and chopped parsley. * For a substantial soup, spread a little mashed Stilton cheese on thick slices of French bread or ciabatta and toast until melted and bubbling, then float these in the soup just before serving.
Jerusalem artichokes are a useful winter vegetable. Combining them with familiar roots, such as carrots, is a good way of introducing them to children and bringing variety to the diet. * Jerusalem artichokes contain compounds called fructoligosaccarides – a type of dietary fibre that stimulates friendly bacteria in the gut while inhibiting harmful bacteria.
Good source of vitamin A, vitamin C. Useful source of calcium, potassium, vitamin B1.
I couldn't have enjoyed preparing my artichokes that were fresh out of the ground any more than I did making this delightful soup. I didn't have any cream to hand but was still delicious. Recipe stored and saved in my favourites and will be used regularly whenever I have a crop to be used. - 09 Feb 2013