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.
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.
- caramelized onions (learn how to make a quick batch with this recipe)
- spicy tofu cubes (use this technique for sauteeing tofu cubes)
- chopped fresh herbs
- parmesan skillet croutons (here’s my favorite recipe)