This winter recipe is a must for all soup fans. Heavenly creamy and easy to make, this Jerusalem artichoke soup is paired with a delicate brown hazelnut butter, perfect for winter, Christmas or whenever you feel like a bowl of soup.
Jerusalem artichokes are something special to cook with. They have a salty, subtle taste similar to artichokes and even so they are not the prettiest looking vegetables there is something beautiful hiding under the nobly, irregular skin.
But what can one make with Jerusalem artichokes and how difficult are they to prepare?
Well, for this recipe we opted for a simple soup. There is nothing more comforting than curling up with a bowl of piping hot soup on a chilly day. Though, in our house we enjoy soups all year round, be it a hearty chestnut or pumpkin soup in winter or a refreshing avocado soup in summer.
We sometimes serve soup even as an appetizer when we host a dinner party, it is a great way to set the tone for the meal ahead.
Some believe a soup is too simple but when such simple dishes are done right, they can be turned into the most elegant dishes! This Jerusalem Artichoke soup is exactly that! Screaming elegance and sophistication!
WHAT ARE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES (SUNCHOKES)?
Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes or topinambur are actually not from Jerusalem. The name of topinambur (mostly used in Europe) comes from a native American tribe, the tupinamaba.
From North America the root made it to Europe in the 17th century but it was eaten only for a short while because the humble potato was just more popular than the Artichoke. However, thanks to its exotic status, distinctive flavour and amazing nutritional qualities, this long forgotten vegetable is now back in fashion.
The plant can reach 3 metres in height and has similarity to a sunflower hence the name sunchoke. They are available during autumn and winter and best prepared in hearty meals during these colder months like in this soup recipe. Jerusalem artichokes have a nutty taste and can be used similar to a potato.
THE INGREDIENTS NEEDED
Jerusalem artichoke soup can be made in many ways. Some add potatoes for thickness, others add leek and celery for flavour. You can adjust the soup to your liking. Here is what we used:
Jerusalem artichokes when buying them make sure they are firm. Look for larger artichokes with minor knobs as it make it easier to peel them.
Brown Onions and garlic for flavour and body, these go well with any sunchoke recipes.
Thyme fresh thyme sprigs can be replaced with dried thyme or other herbs like rosemary or sage.
Chicken stock – makes the base of the soup but can be replaced with vegetable stock if you want to keep it vegetarian. Whichever stock you use unless you made it yourself read the label. Some stocks are concentrated and some stocks are labelled as light which is recommended for this recipe. The stock should not be overpowering.
Cream can be left out or replaced with low fat milk for a healthier option.
For the garnish:
Hazelnuts work well with the brown butter garnish but can be replaced with other nuts like macadamia, almonds or pecan.
Butter good quality unsalted butter.
Parsley chopped fresh parsley for the hazelnut butter.
HOW TO PREPARE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES
The easiest way to peel Jerusalem artichokes is to remove the knobbly parts with a knife and then peel them like a potato. If your knife skills are excellent you can peel them directly with a knife. This is referred to as turning a vegetable between chefs.
Sunchokes will take a long time to cook before you can blend them into a soup, so slice them evenly to reduce cooking time.
We kept 1-2 sunchokes on the side to use as garnish but you can skip this step if you want.
AS A NOTE: I don't recommend peeling the Jerusalem artichokes long before making the soup as they discolour. But in case you have to, then keep them in lemon water and they will stay white.
HOW TO MAKE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE (SUNCHOKE) SOUP
Heat up a heavy pot on high heat with a splash of olive oil. Add the artichokes and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
Now add the onions and garlic and keep sweating the vegetables until they start to caramelize slightly.
Deglaze with the stock and add thyme sprigs.
Next, add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Cook covered for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
If too much liquid has evaporated during cooking, add more stock or water. When the artichokes start to fall apart, then you know they are cooked. Transfer them to your blender and mix until it turns into a smooth soup consistency.
HOW TO MAKE BROWN HAZELNUT BUTTER
For the hazelnut butter we are cooking the butter in a pan gently over low heat. Meanwhile, cur the artichokes into dices if you are using them as a garnish. Chop the parsley and keep aside.
Once the butter starts foaming, be ready to remove it from the heat. The butter turns brown and is ready when you get a nutty smell.
Now remove the butter from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. In a separate pan, sauté the sunchoke dices until they have caramelized but still have a bite to them.
Combine the hazelnut butter, toasted hazelnuts, diced sunchokes and chopped parsley.
Swirl this garnish over the soup when plating up. Besides looking pretty, it adds beautiful flavours and textures to the soup!
CAN YOU EAT THE SKIN OF JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES?
Yes you can. Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten as a whole. They do actually taste amazing when they are roasted in the oven and the skin has caramelized. In fact they can even be eaten raw if they are thinly sliced, they taste amazing in a salad. For this recipe however we need to peel the artichokes.
CAN THE SOUP BE MADE VEGAN?
Yes the sunchoke soup can be made vegan. Leave out the cream and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. As a garnish add sautéed sunchoke dices with chopped parsley and add bread croutons.
HOW LONG CAN YOU STORE ARTICHOKE SOUP?
You shouldn't keep the soup longer than three days in the fridge as it contains cream. In case you made a big batch you can freeze the soup portioned in bags or containers for up to 3 months.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU MAKE WITH JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES?
Well, there are many dishes you can make with these beauties. They are great for purees, oven roasted or just cooked in butter, the possibilities are endless.
I have used them in a gratin similar to a potato gratin and I also enjoy eating them in a quiche. Though the most memorable dish has been a Jerusalem Artichoke ice cream with shaved black truffles!! Hard to imagine I know but believe me It was great!!
We hope you will love this Jerusalem Artichoke soup as much as we do! When you make this sunchoke soup, we would would love to know how you liked it!
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Hazelnut Butter
- large pot
- kitchen mixer or stick blender
- medium size pan
for the soup
- 1 kilogram jerusalem artichokes gives you 600 grams (1.3 pounds) peeled
- 1 medium brown onion peeled and sliced
- 1 large garlic clove peeled and chopped
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 200 milliliters pouring cream
- 750 milliliters chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
for the hazelnut butter
- 80 grams unsalted butter
- 22 grams hazelnuts halved and toasted
- ¼ bunch parsley picked and chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
for the soup
- Remove the knobbly parts from the artichokes with a knife and peel them the same way you would peel a potato. Keep 2 pieces aside for the garnish and cut the remaining artichokes into even slices.
- Heat up a heavy pot on high heat with the olive oil. Add the artichokes and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
- Now add the onions and garlic and keep cooking until the sunchokes start to slightly caramelize. Deglaze with the stock and add leaves of the thyme sprigs.
- Pour the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Cook covered for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
- If too much liquid has evaporated during the cooking add more stock or water. When artichokes have fully cooked they will start to fall apart. Transfer to a blender, mix until it turns to a smooth soup consistency. Add stock or water if the soup is too thick.
for the hazelnut butter
- For the hazelnut butter we are melting butter in a pan gently over low heat. Meanwhile cut the artichokes into small dices and chop the parsley.
- Once the butter starts foaming be ready to remove it from the heat. The butter turns brown and is ready when you get a nutty smell.
- Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. In a separate pan sauté the sunchoke dices until they have caramelized but still have a bite to them.
- Combine the butter, toasted hazelnuts, diced sunchokes and chopped parsley. Swirl the hazelnut butter garnish over the soup just before serving.