Jerusalem Artichoke Soup (vegetarian/vegan)
The official start of Autumn. Forget your falling leaves or first frost. Your tastes migrate from fresh salads to warming soups and you know the season has ticked onwards. Jerusalem Artichokes are unfamiliar to many but worth seeking out. They’re a gift to the organic gardener: undemanding friendly sunflowered giants, needing no fertiliser or care other than staking, and delivering a fabulous harvest with a little digging. And what’s more, they make the most incredible creamy velvety textured purees and soups. Yes, you are going to ask, what about the wind? And indeed they do make you a little gassy, if you gorge on them first thing in the season. What you need to do is dilute the effect. Don’t eat them for every meal, and don’t eat a huge roasting pan of them the first time you harvest. I wouldn’t blame you, because they taste so nutty and sweet that way, but give yourself time. Approach them gradually, your gut will get used to them and benefit from the inulin they contain. This soup is a good way to start off - it’s a mixture of vegetables, not too heavy on the artichokes.
And for heaven’s sake – a vegetable that grows itself, tastes great, has massively amusing shapes when you dig them up, and makes you fart into the bargain – keeps the children amused for days!
Serves 6, 20 minutes preparation, 20 minutes cooking.
Brush the artichokes (they are VERY muddy) and peel them if they need it – I personally prefer to peel them but you don’t have to if you’ve got the smaller fiddly variety. This is the part of the preparation that’s going to take the longest. Slice the onion and begin to fry it in a little oil in a heavy pan. Peel the carrot, slice into small pieces, add to the pan. Clean and slice up the leek, add to the pan. Keep cooking as the vegetables soften – about 5 minutes. Add the stock and the sliced-up artichokes.
Cook for about 20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft and cooked. Liquidise and if you like, you can add some cream or milk to the soup to thin the texture. Check and adjust the seasoning.
Serve with sourdough croutons or just with fresh bread.
A Hug from the Kitchen
Healthy, hearty, happy food, for good times and bad. Cheer yourself up, or spread the cheer around your family and friends.