Hell Yes: Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke) SoupNovember 8, 2011
I know it may not look like much, but this may just be my new favorite soup—OF ALL TIME.
What is it, you ask? A little gem known as Sunchoke (or Jerusalem Artichoke) Soup. And what are these sunchokes / Jerusalem artichokes, you ask? They’re this knobbly little root vegetable that look like sorta like this:
And as it turns out, they make for one mind-blowingly delicious soup.
Before this weekend, I had never tried sunchokes; before last month, I hadn’t even heard of them. I think they may be an Eastern Canada thing? At any rate, they have no relation to Jerusalem, and they are not artichokes, just giving further indication that names are, generally, completely arbitrary markers. What they actually are is a species of sunflower, whose tuber is what you see above. Its taste is hard to describe, though it does have some passing resemblance to artichoke. One thing I can say is that they taste extraordinary—rich, flavorful, and unique.
This soup has got to be the perfect way to prepare sunchokes—not only it is simply stunning to taste, it’s also stunningly simple to make! The recipe I followed came from a friend, who got it from the cookbook Great Chefs Cook Vegan, and since it’s published there I’d feel wrong reprinting it here, but since it’s so ridiculously easy, I will tell you that all you need to do is:
- saute some onions in oil,
- add in your sunchokes (peeling not necessary, just scrub well to remove the dirt),
- add in a little bit of salt and sugar,
- add in some vegetable broth (about 4 cups per pound of sunchoke),
- simmer until the sunchokes are completely soft,
- and then blend the whole thing!
I topped mine off with some local Hakurei turnips and some freshly toasted croutons (not pictured), but really, the soup is amazing as it is, even without these accoutrements. It is, I think, best described as dinner-conversation-stopping good: serve this at a dinner party and your guests will without fail stop mid-sentence to remark on how delectable this soup is.
Sunchokes will only be available at local farmers’ markets and groceries like Fiesta Farms for a couple more months at most, so snatch some up today and make this for yourself! You’ll thank me later—I promise.
Until we eat again,