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?

Jerusalem Artichokes
: Bret Hofacker

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.

A white plate with a soup spoon and 2 slices of grainy bread, with a small white bowl filled with Jerusalem artichoke soup garnished with thyme, truffle oil, and Jerusalem artichoke chips.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

5 / 2 votes
This recipe uses Jerusalem artichokes in two ways: to make a creamy smooth soup and to make crisp and crunchy, golden chips that are added as a garnish. Leaving the peel on the chips gives them more of that flavor we love.
David Leite
CourseAppetizers
CuisineAmerican
Servings6 servings
Calories280 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

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.
Home Farm Cooking Cookbook

Adapted From

Home Farm Cooking

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 280 kcalCarbohydrates: 34 gProtein: 5 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 33 mgSodium: 500 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 19 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Catherine | John Pawson. Photo © 2021 Gilbert McCarragher. All rights reserved.

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…

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup--Ilda

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.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this as part of a first course – really lovely soup. Did a few things differently:
    1a. Caramelized onions a bit before adding sunchokes. I can’t definitively say if it made a big difference, but I’d like to think I can taste the added sweetness.
    1b. This meant that the onion mixture started sticking to the pan a bit, so I deglazed with a couple tablespoons of dry vermouth.
    2. We used chicken instead of vegetable stock, as we didn’t have any on hand.
    3. We wanted a thicker soup, so I just did 1/3 cup cream and 1/3 cup milk – I like the thickness like this.
    4. We also wanted it to truly be a purée. I didn’t want to lose the flavor added by the skins, so I left them on. But when puréeing, I couldn’t get it to a perfectly smooth place. So I strained all the skin out.
    5. No truffle oil on hand, so seasoned with black truffle salt instead.
    Thinking of serving this with some pan-seared scallops, will circle back on whether it’s truly a good fit 🙂

    1. That sounds incredible, Lynn. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. We’re delighted that you enjoyed it and look forward to hearing about how it paired with the scallops.

      1. Thanks Angie! We might not end up serving them with the scallops (though I still believe it would be a lovely pairing) — I think I should have cooked them a bit longer than I did, they were still quite inulin-y. So, a word of caution to others wishing to try this recipe: maybe do a bit of research on ways to get the inulin out of sunchokes, or just cook them for awhile, even after they’re tender enough to blend? It’s still a really, really beautiful/delicious/wonderful soup, just don’t want to plague dinner guests with digestive troubles.

    1. Doy!! Why didn’t we think of that? Thank you for the nudge. I added a photo so it’ll be easy to recognize them when you’re at the supermarket or farmstand.

        1. Steve, do you mean because of the gas and bloating? That’s due to inulin, the carbohydrate in raw Jerusalem artichokes (aka fartichokes!). This recipe calls for them to be cooked fully, so less trouble. But your point is well taken.