creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup {vegan}

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I must confess, I don’t cook with Jerusalem artichokes—also known as sunchokes, as often as I should. Perhaps it’s the knubby tubular appearance that makes them feel unapproachable. It sounds silly even saying that, but I can see why many people feel perplexed by them. Since 2011 has been about exploring new ingredients, I decided to scoop up a bunch at the farmers’ market last week.

I tucked them away in my bag not exactly sure what I’d do with them, though roasting was high on my list. It seemed like a quick and easy option. As lunch time rolled around, I decided a soup was more in order to combat the brutal weather we’ve been dealing with here in New York City. Hard to believe this soup was almost easier than roasting, but with the aid of my homemade bouillon, coaxing out the flavor took no time.

The benefit to you all is more an open recipe than one with structure, but it also allows you to adapt and make enough based on how many people you’re serving. The other big bonus—no need to wait for artichoke season to enjoy the intense flavor of those hearts. This soup is the best of both worlds, encapsulating the essence of artichokes hearts without the tedious prep it takes to get to them.

Oh, did I also mention it’s vegan? This wasn’t my intention. After giving the soup a whirl in the blender, it already had a lovely, smooth body and flavor that I decided cream would interfere with the bold artichoke bite. Feel free to add a drop or two in your own batch, if you’re curious.

As for consistency, something about the thick creaminess of this soup just spoke to me. Thin yours out if you prefer a more delicate approach, but don’t skip the crunchy condiment—it enhances the experience profoundly. I sauteed some cubed tofu in avocado oil—use olive or sunflower oil if you wish, and tossed the cooked cubes with a generous pinch of Ray Bradley’s paprika. The crunch, spice and sweetness, thanks to some caramelized onions means this soup is more than it appears. Layers and depth of flavor to perk up your tastebuds in every spoonful.

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Creamy Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

serves as many as you want

Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes), scrubbed clean & sliced into coins

Vegetable broth, enough to cover the artichokes

Add ingredients to a skillet or saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the artichokes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Using a ladle, transfer to the bowl of a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy textured, thinning out with extra broth as needed.

Garnish ideas:

  • caramelized onions (learn how to make a quick batch with this recipe)
  • chopped fresh herbs
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5 Responses to “creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup {vegan}”

  1. I love creamy vegan soups! I’ve never used Jerusalem Artichokes and this looks like a fantastic experiment. 2011 has been a year (so far) of new foods as well. I just rediscovered a love for beets, but roasted! Mom always boiled them. And I also started experimenting with rutabaga last week. I’m always amazed at how many foods I’ve never tried.

  2. I love, love, love Jerusalem artichokes. I’ve only had them roasted, but this soup looks amazing. I’ll have to see if I can find some (they can be so hard to locate here in the ‘burbs!).

  3. So simple! I have been looking for recipes for sunchokes, since I have local organic ones available to me. Thanks for this – its going in my favorites file!

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