Jerusalem artichokes are brown tubers that look a little like root ginger and have a nutty flavour not unlike that of a globe artichoke, although the two aren’t related. Cooking the artichokes with the skin on gives the soup a richer flavour, but it is important to sieve the soup to get a lovely creamy texture.
700 grams Jerusalem artichokes
2 tablespoons olive oil
large knob of butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme
4 cups good chicken stock
1/3 cup cream
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
200 grams Jerusalem artichokes
vegetable oil for cooking
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Soup: Wash or scrub the artichokes well, ensuring there is no dirt trapped in the knobbly bits. Slice thinly. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan and add the artichokes, onion, garlic and thyme with a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft.
Add the stock, season and simmer gently for 20 minutes until the artichokes are breaking up. Stir in the cream and when the soup has cooled a little, blend in batches until smooth. Tip through a medium-fine sieve set over a bowl and press with the back of a spoon, discarding the skin left in the sieve. Reheat when ready to serve.
Chips: Wash the artichokes as before. Slice them thinly, about 2-3 mm and dry on kitchen towels. Heat 2 cm of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan and fry the artichokes in batches until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen towels and sprinkle with sea salt.
To serve: Ladle the soup into warm bowls and drizzle with cream.
Menu: Serve Tuna and Avocado Tartare Crostini to start; followed by soup then Roast Duck with Grape and Almond Agrodolce served with Potato Rosti and Green Beans with Spinach, Lemon and Garlic. Enjoy Affogato with Biscotti to finish.