Jerusalem Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Soup
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch
A cup of sunchoke soup is enough to kiss the winter blues away. This recipe is dedicated to a dear friend of mine, Abigail from Sotby in Lincolnshire. Her father, Mr Lawson, is a farmer who grows Jerusalem artichokes as part of a conservation project on his farm. I regularly receive a bag filled with Sotby’s ‘chokes and I have made many tasty recipes with them.
As Jerusalem artichokes have a robust and strong flavour, they pair easily with other robust flavours, such as garlic. By roasting the garlic in the oven until soft and sweet, it adds a natural sweetness and intensity to the soup. My theory is that this soup tastes even better the following day, so why not make a double batch to test my theory?!
Ingredients & Method
- 1/2 bulb of garlic, cut in half widthways
- 1 teaspoon soft light brown sugar
- 500g Jerusalem artichokes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 banana shallot, sliced
- 50ml brandy, Madeira or white wine
- 1.2 litres good quality vegetable or white chicken stock
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of rapeseed oil, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Place the garlic halves on a piece of foil, season the cut-sides with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Wrap the garlic loosely, transfer to a baking tray and roast in the oven for 25–35 minutes – the garlic will soften, become golden in colour and develop a sweet taste. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, then squeeze the soft garlic pulp out of the skins.
Peel and slice the Jerusalem artichokes. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and once the butter starts to foam, add the shallot, garlic pulp and Jerusalem artichokes, together with a little salt and pepper. Sauté over a low heat for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown – the darker the colour of the artichokes and onions, the more intense the flavour will be.
Pour the brandy into the pan and let it bubble, stirring and scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze it. Cook until the caramelised bits dissolve and the brandy is reduced to a coating syrup. Add the stock and bring slowly to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 25–30 minutes or until the artichokes are very tender and the soup is thick and a rich, deep colour.
Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and purée until very smooth. Return to the pan and reheat gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Serve hot in bowls, garnished with thyme leaves and a drizzle of rapeseed oil. Serve with plenty of fresh crusty bread.
Even though this soup is silky and creamy, it does not contain any cream and therefore is the perfect low-fat recipe. However, if you would like to tame the garlic flavour slightly, stir in a little single cream or crème fraîche, just before serving. You may like to garnish this soup with Jerusalem Artichoke Crisps.