Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Jerusalem ArtichokesThe last edible items to be foraged from the garden this year? Jerusalem artichokes.

These strange knobbly tubers have an odd reputation; some cooks love them, and some hate them. The main problem is not their scruffy appearance or the time it takes to clean and peel them.

No, it’s the fact that they contain inulin, a component that cannot be broken down by our digestive system. Instead, bacteria in the gut goes to work to metabolise it, and this can lead to flatulence.

As I haven’t experienced this consequence from eating Jerusalem artichokes, I carry on searching for different ways to cook them. However, last year I kindly shared my bumper harvest with a friend and she didn’t thank me for it after experiencing unexpected combustible after effects!

The Jerusalem artichoke is not related to the more popular globe artichoke; in fact, it’s a relative of the sunflower. The tubers have a delicate sweet taste and are delicious roasted, sautéed or in a soup. Although sweet, they’re not fattening, and their starchy fibre stops any spikes in blood sugar levels. They have a lower glycaemic index (GI) score than potatoes and contain plenty of iron, potassium and vitamin B1, making them an extremely healthy food.

In the past, I’ve enjoyed sautéing them as per this recipe. This year, for convenience sake, I used all of them to make a large batch of this simple soup.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of butter
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
500g Jerusalem artichokes
1 litre of vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Cook the onions and celery for 5 minutes and add the garlic for the last minute.

Now put the Jerusalem artichokes into the soup pot and pour in the vegetable stock. Slowly mix all the ingredients and gently simmer. Leave on a low heat for about 35-45 minutes until the artichokes are soft.

You can either use a hand blender to puree the soup or pour it into a mixer. I found it easier to pour it into a food mixer and once it’s been blended to a thick pureed consistency, transfer it back into the saucepan. Taste and add salt and pepper as required; heat through before serving.

This makes a substantial amount of soup, so I froze it in batches for consumption later.

Warning, do remember to tell people of the possible windy consequences before serving them Jerusalem artichokes. Otherwise, you could end up losing friends!

Here are some of my other soup recipes you may like to try. Proceed with caution when it comes to Sorrel Soup:

Jerusalem Artichoke: Friend of Foe?
Tangy Sorrel Soup
Brussels Sprout Soup
Carrot and Ginger Soup
Courgette and Basil Soup
Soupe De Poisson