Jerusalem artichokes are not generally appreciated. This may be due to their knobbly ugly shape, which makes them difficult to peel. We love their sweet nutty flavor, however, and their wonderful velvety texture when blended.– Catherine & John Pawson
WHAT ARE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES?
Also called sunchokes, Jerusalem artichokes, are a species of sunflower that was originally grown across North America before being sent to Europe. Their use in North America has fallen off somewhat, meaning that most of us aren’t that familiar with them.
It’s a tuber–which is pretty apparent when you lay eyes on these knobbly little babes–that’s eaten as a root vegetable. They can be prepared in countless ways–raw, baked, puréed, and on and on. They take on a sweet and nutty taste when cooked, especially when roasted.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large (7 oz) onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 sprig thyme, leaves picked, plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 1/4 pounds Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and peeled, if desired, cut into equal sized chunks
- 3 cups store-bought or homemade vegetable broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bread, to serve (optional)
- A drizzle of truffle oil, to serve (optional)
For the artichoke chips
- 2 (3 1/2 oz) Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed
- 1 to 2 tablespoons (1/2 to 1 ounce) unsalted butter
Make the soup
- In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add onion, garlic, and thyme leaves and cook until softened but not colored, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Chop the Jerusalem artichokes into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the saucepan and cook until just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes more.
Make the artichoke chips
- Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, finely slice the two unpeeled artichokes into 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick slices.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the artichoke slices and fry, tossing until they're golden and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Remove soup from heat, add milk and cream, and use an immersion blender to purée until smooth. Alternatively, you can carefully pour the soup into a regular blender and blitz until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divvy soup among warm bowls, top with a few artichoke crisps and a sprinkle of thyme leaves. Serve with bread on the side, if desired. A drizzle of truffle oil will not go amiss.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I love the nuttiness of Jerusalem artichokes. Usually, I just scrub them and roughly chop and roast them. They tend to be expensive and thus underused. I also feel that by having “artichoke” in the name they’re compared to the thistle variety and obviously don’t measure up in looks. We’re so vain…
This Jerusalem artichoke soup recipe really appealed to me for the creaminess and for the chip garnish. It didn’t disappoint one little bit! Each spoonful was velvety and flavourful with an almost understated richness.
The only thing I’d change would be to use clarified butter or ghee to fry the chips. I had some uneven cooking due to burnt butter. Luckily, the number of chips was sufficient for the 6 bowls despite a few dark ones being discarded.
We each enjoyed a bowl of this delectable Jerusalem artichoke soup as a first course. The chip garnish and the drizzle of truffle oil are indispensable.
Let me start by saying that I had never tried Jerusalem artichokes before making this soup and I will never look back. I served it to four self-proclaimed foodies and all loved it.
This Jerusalem artichoke soup is a substantial soup with a wonderful nutty taste. The thyme is essential so don’t skimp on it. I served it with the artichoke crisps and then passed around additional crisps for people to add to their soup as they went along.
I also passed the white truffle oil. I tried it both with and without the truffle oil, both were wonderful, and my eaters raved about the soup both ways. I didn’t purée my soup until it was completely smooth but left it with a bit of texture because I tend to like textured soup, but I think it would be good either way.