My Journal

Seasonal recipe: jerusalem artichoke soup

A Jerusalem artichoke is a funny thing that isn’t actually at all what you’d expect it to be. Don’t let the name deceive you – though it’s similar in flavour to artichoke, this gnarled but tasty tuber is actually more closely related to the sunflower. It’s not from Jerusalem, either – this part of the name is widely considered to be due to the Italian word for sunflower – ‘Girasole‘. The plants can grow up to three metres tall and boast splendid yellow flowers – but for this warming soup recipe, it’s the small, below-ground tuber we’re interested in.

Jerusalem artichoke looks very similar to ginger or turmeric root – bulbous and gnarly – and it’s in season in January in the UK. It has a flavour that’s really unique – savoury and subtle, comparable only really to a combination of potato and artichoke, and when it’s cooked into a soup it brings a beautifully smooth, creamy texture. It’s also a great source of carbohydrate, fibre and protein. I love this recipe for Jerusalem artichoke soup as it lets an often-underrepresented seasonal ingredient sing and makes a hearty and comforting meal. You just can’t beat a hot bowl of soup with a crusty piece of toast on a cold afternoon!

You will need:

Serves 4

  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 900g Jerusalem artichokes, cleaned, peeled and sliced
  • 900ml vegetable stock
  • A glug of good olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • To serve (mix and match/optional): A handful of finely chopped chives, a spoonful of single cream, truffle oil, garlic croutons, crisped bacon

Let’s get started!

  1. Over medium heat, warm the olive oil in a large pan.

    A bowl of Jerusalem artichoke soup: seasonal recipe January UK

    Flickr: Marita

  2. Add the chopped onions and stir thoroughly, softening through for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and stir through, cooking until golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the sliced Jerusalem artichoke, and stir so thoroughly mixed with the onion, garlic and oil.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking, before adding the vegetable stock and bringing to the boil.
  7. When the pot is boiling, turn down the heat a little and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the Jerusalem artichoke is soft.
  8. Use a hand-held or jug blender to blitz the mixture thoroughly until silky smooth. You may like to taste test at this point and add more seasoning to your taste if needed.
  9. … and that’s it! This is such a quick and easy recipe. There are lots of ways you can serve this soup, too – I definitely recommend a crusty loaf for dunking, and a swirl of cream and sprinkle of chives gives it a really fresh and luxurious feel.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried this recipe, or Jerusalem artichoke in general – what do you think? Happy cooking!

Katie x