The ultimate root vegetable has got to be the Jerusalem artichoke. Rich, creamy and nutty it compliments just about any meat or fish, whether it is roasted with the skin on or peeled, boiled and blitzed for a velvety puree. My favourite use of it has got to be soup, and this recipe, although incredibly simple will leave you with a mouth wateringly luxurious bowl of deliciousness.
2kg Jerusalem artichokes (avoid the misshapen ones, as these are really hard to peel)
2 medium white onions
4 cloves of garlic
3 sticks of celery
1.5 litres vegetable stock
1.5 litres milk
4 bay leaves
Sprig of thyme
First peel and chop the onion and garlic. Wash, peel and chop the celery and start to lightly sweat in a medium size saucepan. Meanwhile, begin to peel the Jerusalem artichokes and put into a container of cold water. This stops them discolouring.
Add the vegetable stock and milk to the pan and turn up the heat as you want the liquid to boil. Make a little parcel containing the herbs and spices using muslin cloth (if you have it) or a J cloth will do and put into the pan to infuse. Drain the water from the artichokes and add them into the pan with a good pinch of salt. Once the liquid boils turn it down to a simmer and cover with a lid.
After 10-15 minutes check the artichokes with a knife. If they are soft then remove from the heat and take out the herb parcel. Ladle the contents into a liquidiser and blitz for a good few minutes until velvety smooth. Ensure you add in the liquid slowly, as you want a decent thickness to the soup, and you can always add more, but you can’t take away.
Check the seasoning and pass the soup through a chinoise (a very fine sieve) and serve. The soup is amazing on its own, but some ideas for garnish could be truffle oil or shaved fresh truffle, wild mushroom croute, crispy black pudding, sage beignets, blue cheese and mustard scones….. the possibilities are endless.