Jerusalem artichoke soup
This delicately starchy root vegetable makes the most delicious soup.
With the weather turning cooler, my printout pile – an untidy, toppling pile of stained and crumpled papers – is mostly about soups. Soups I've cooked and eaten, soups I plan to cook. I really got hungry for soup. I sat for a few minutes, mentally going over the contents of my refrigerator, wondering if there was something I could make soup out of. And remembered a bag of firm, rosy-brown Jerusalem artichokes sitting there. Jerusalem artichokes make a lovely, mild, particularly comforting soup. I love this recipe because it incorporates almonds, which lend the soup body and a delicately nutty flavor.
Jerusalem artichokes are often called sunchokes, and it's a much more logical name for this root vegetable. They didn't originate in Jerusalem, nor are they related to artichokes. They're related to sunflowers. But "Jerusalem artichoke" is rather romantic, I admit. And I first tasted this soup in Jerusalem, at the wonderful Eucalyptus restaurant. Chef Moshe Basson kindly passed his recipe along to me, and I adapted it to my home style. I know you'll enjoy it.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pound Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 12 blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 pinch powdered saffron
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, including stems
Place a heavy pot or Dutch oven over low heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cover and sauté about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to sweat and soften onions.
Add garlic and Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), and increase heat to medium. Cook and stir, uncovered, for several minutes. Add broth, plus salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Using a spice grinder or food processor, coarsely grind almonds and mix with 2 tablespoons water. Add mixture to soup. Add saffron and lemon juice, whisking to blend thoroughly. Heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice. Serve piping hot, garnished with fresh parsley.
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Moshe Basson.