Sunchoke Soup

Tonight we made Joyce’s chicken with fingerling potatoes, carrots, and onions. I love the way the onions caramelize at the bottom of the pan. They are especially delicious when they have dried up. Yum! I had some sunchokes in my CSA box so I tried to replicate a soup I really liked at a veggie restaurant last fall. Using a Bon Appetit recipe as a guide, I gathered the following ingredients:

  • Large bowl of water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1.5  pounds Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken because it’s what I had on hand)
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (I used 2% milk)
  • Ground white pepper
  • Shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted (I used pine nuts)
  • Pumpkin seed oil (optional)
  • Sautéed chanterelle mushrooms (optional garnish)

Mix water and vinegar in large bowl. Working with 1 Jerusalem artichoke at a time, peel and place in vinegar water to prevent discoloration. Set aside.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, leek, and garlic; sprinkle with salt and sauté until soft and translucent, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Drain artichokes; rinse well and drain again. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to onion mixture and sauté 5 minutes. Add broth, increase heat to high, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until artichokes are very tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth. Return to pot. Rewarm soup, adding more broth if needed (mine was fine). Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Divide soup among bowls and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds; top with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and some sautéed mushrooms, if desired.

I’m curious to see if and when the “sunchoke effect” hits us tonight…