Jerusalem artichoke soup with chunky sourdough croutons

Artichoke Soup, Newtown, June, 2018

Artichoke Soup, Newtown, June, 2018

Perfect for the aprés ski scene, if thats your thing, this Jerusalem artichoke soup is very sustaining and delicious, from the book The Vegetable by Caroline Griffiths and Vicki Valsamis.

Jerusalem artichokes are at their peak in autumn and winter…they are at Carriageworks farmers market at he moment ……. Their earthiness and distinct flavour pairs particularly well with sage and thyme. This soup makes an elegant starter for a cool-weather dinner party.

Serves 4

20g ( 3/4 oz) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
750g ( 1lb 11oz ) Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and sliced
1 desiree or other all-purpose potato peeled and chopped
1 thyme sprig, plus some extra leaves to garnish
1 sage sprig
500-700ml ( 17-25 1/2 fl oz/ 2 -3 cups Vegetable stock
Lemon juice or sherry vinegar, to taste
60ml ( 2 fl oz 1/4 cup ) pouring ( single/light) cream (optional)

Sough croutons

2 thick slices light rye sourdough bread
20 g ( 3/4 oz) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
small handful of sage leaves
1 tablespoon hazelnuts, roughly chopped.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the artichoke and potato and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes, or until the vegetables just start to colour and caramelise.

Add the thyme and sage sprigs, and enough stock to just cover the vegetables. Stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Remove from the heat, remove the herb sprigs, and leave to cool slightly. Blend or process the mixture until smooth.

Pass the mixture through a sieve into a clean pan, discarding any solids if you like a supremely smooth soup. Add the lemon juice or sherry vinegar and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the cream, if using and gently reheat the soup.

Meanwhile, for the croutons, roughly tear the bread into 1.5 cm ( 1/2 in) chunks, leaving the crusts on. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves to the pan, briefly cook until crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Add the bread and hazelnuts to the pan. Cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the bread is well browned and crisp, and the hazelnuts have taken on some colour.

Serve the soup immediately, scattered with the croutons, crisp sage leaves and hazelnuts and a sprinkling of thyme.

Bowls : Mud


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