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Author Notes: Do you like artichokes? If so then you will most certainly love sunchokes. Also known are Jerusalem artichokes or sunroot. Unlike artichokes which are considered a thistle, sunchokes are part of the sunflower family and are known as a tuber. They grow underground and can withstand the harsh winter weather. While I am sure many people may just walk right past them in the farmer's market I encourage you to try all the root vegetables. They really do add a special twist when used in a soup, or roasted with vegetables. I am a huge fan of my root vegetables and I tend to get pretty creative during the winter months when vegetables are at a minimum. Sunchokes are high in vitamin C, potassium and iron. In the soup listed below, I have done a few variations similar including one with celery root.
- Nicole Franzen
- 1 1/2-2 pounds of sunchokes
- 2 medium sized russet potatoes
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 small leeks
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- sea salt & pepper
- olive oil
- for chips reserve one sunchoke and vegetable oil for frying.
- When choosing sunchokes try to choose ones that aren't super gnarly. You have to peel them and the more knots they have the harder they are to peel. It's a tedious task and you dont have to be perfect. In this particular recipe I peeled them, though I am interested to see how the soup would be without peeling them. Since most of their nutritional content is in the skin.
- Peel and cube sunchokes into similar sizes and place into a bowl with water. You want to place them in water so they dont oxidize and turn brown. Do the same with the potatoes, peel and cube. Chop leeks, onions and garlic finely. In a soup pot add a tablespoon of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Turn to medium heat and add your onions, leeks and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook till tender about 4 minutes. Add 2 sprigs of rosemary, a bay leaf and the cup of white wine. Allow the soup to return to a simmer and add the drained potatoes and sunchokes. Add enough water to cover the vegetables and turn the heat to med-high. Allow soup to simmer until potatoes and sunchokes are tender about 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level and add more if necessary.
- To make the sunchoke chips use a mandolin on the thinnest level and slice a whole sunchoke. In a medium saucepan heat vegetable oil, carefully lay the sunchokes into the oil. The addition of a few sprigs of fried rosemary is a nice touch. Watch for splattering. Don't crowd the chips, once light browning occurs set on a bowl lined with a paper towel and season with salt. Right before soup is ready to be blended be sure to remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. When potatoes are tender remove from the heat and using a hand held blender, blend until smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste and a cup of heavy cream. Run the blender again until smooth. You can allow the soup to simmer on low heat or it can sit at room temperature until reheated before serving. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, sunchoke chips and fresh ground pepper.