fredag 22 mars 2013

Jerusalem artichoke soup

Seasonal eating means enjoying the produce (and fish) that is currently available in your region, and avoiding foods that have to be grown in greenhouses or shipped from elsewhere during the winter, for example. Eating seasonally is a great way to save energy in food production and to enjoy foods on a deeper level: fruits and vegetables taste better when they are in season! This blog is written in Sweden and therefore, at this time of year, eating seasonally means enjoying many root vegetables and winter greens.

It's very much still winter in most of northern Europe, which can make seasonal eating seem like a chore at times. I for one long for the first fresh vegetables of spring, but for now there's still lots that can be done with seasonal winter vegetables!

Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are not related to the artichoke, but rather to the sunflower! They have lovely, small roots with pinkish skin and a light, slightly nutty taste. Add them to root vegetable bakes, boil and serve whole like potatoes, mash them by themselves or as part of potato mash, or try this soup:

Jerusalem artichoke soup

300 g Jerusalem artichokes
1 large or 2 smaller shallots
1 vegetable bouillon cube
about 1 dl of cream or non-dairy cream
a splash (.5 - 1 dl) or dry white wine (optional)
1/2 tsp tarragon
salt and pepper
butter or oil to fry

1. Scrub the Jerusalem artichoke, cut them into smallish pieces so they will cook quickly. Drop them into a bowl of cool water to prevent discoloration. If the skin seems particularly rough, thick or hard to get clean, peel them first.
2. Finely dice the shallots and saute them in the butter or oil in a pot until they are softened but not browning.  (If you are using the wine, add it now to deglaze the pan, loosening any tasty bits of shallot and butter that may be clinging to the pot).
3. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, vegetable bouillon cube and 3 dl of water to the pot. Simmer over medium heat until the Jerusalem artichokes are soft, 10-15 minutes.
4. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the soup. Thin to taste with the cream. Add tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. Warm gently through.

Serve with toasted French bread and a green salad. Recipe serves two, add another 300 g Jerusalem artichokes or 2 medium potatoes to serve more.

What are your favourite uses for this versatile root?

Dawn Anthony

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