Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
I hope you know what a jerusalem artichoke is - otherwise you have to find out! It's the nicest little tuber, sometimes very nubbly (imagine the worst root of ginger and you peeling it!), sometimes pretty potato-like in the peeling - easy, smooth sailing. If you're really lucky, you might even get away with just scrubbing them. The taste is delicate, slightly nutty and I find it to go really well with cream and smoky stuff, like bacon.
Now, I would have included a picture of the unadultered with choke, but it seems it also has, well... certain fallos-look-alike qualities and I just couldn't convince myself that was appropriate on an otherwise decent blog!
What I usually make is a soup - very basic, just cut them up in chunks (the smaller you dice, the shorter the time it'll have to cook)
A couple of chopped shallots, a clove of garlic for good measure, but no more than a clove, it will overpower the delicateness of the choke. Sweat that of in a bit of olive oil or butter, add the chopped jerusalem artichoke and just leave it to soften on a medium-high heat. When you've got no more patience, cover with stock (yes, of course, ideally your very own, home-made from scratch - but BAH! This is no Utopia and I more than often get by with those liquid chicken stock-thingys) Leave to simmer until everything's softened - sorta like when you cook potatoes for a mash. Blend, and would you look at this?
Adjust the liquid (easier to add at this point than trying to get out the amount you added extra when simmering, ain't it?) until the soup has a consistency you like. Salt, pepper - ahh!
I like to serve it up the rustica way, as above, with croutons, creme fraiche, lot's of freshly ground black pepper - bacon for those who like it, maybe a sprinkling of chives or parsley...
Or, if you liked, you could serve it the artsy-fartsy way, as we did for my Dad and Stepmom's Bridgeclub back in November:
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup; Bruschetta with roast scallops and speck, chive oil