Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
Jerusalem Artichokes do have a bad press for their “windy’ connotations. They contain inulin, a sugar which when digested by the bacteria in the gut produces a lot of gas, some people are affected more than others. I find that par-boiling them first and then discarding the water, gets rid of the inulin. They have a delicious nutty flavour and make a creamy white soup and are also excellent roasted or stove cooked with onion, garlic and tomato.
500g Jerusalem artichokes
1 small leek, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vegetable bouillon
750mls stock made up of half milk, dairy or soya and half water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp thick dairy cream or soya cream
4 tbsps pine nuts, lightly roasted
parsley to garnish
Wash the artichokes, place them unpeeled in a saucepan and cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until the skins easily slip off, depending on size about 15 minutes, the water will become green and scummy, but don’t worry as it will be discarded.
Drain the artichokes, leave to cool a little and then peel off the skins, which should come off easily. Fry the leeks and garlic in the olive oil until softened. Roughly chop the artichokes and add to the leeks and garlic and fry for a few minutes.
Add the vegetable bouillon, milk and water, stir, bring to the boil and simmer until the artichokes are soft.
Leave to cool a little and then liquidise.
Return the soup to the saucepan, reheat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, add to the top of each bowl of soup a swirl of cream, a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts and a garnish of parsley.
Tips: the easiest way to toast pine nuts is in a small dry frying pan over a gentle heat, stir constantly as they burn very easily.