It's taken me well over a year to grow the balls to get this blog up. What if my pictures aren't good enough? What if my writing isn't up to scratch? I am my own worst enemy. Time to suck it up, bite the bullet and post something. So here it is, my shy and awkward first post – a homely Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) soup with crispy bits and truffle oil.
Jerusalem artichokes are delicious, knobbly little tubers that kind of look like ginger. They’re earthy and nutty in flavour, in season right now and super versatile – raw in salad, roasted, pan fried or in this case blitzed into soup, topped with crunchy bits of proscuitto, fresh herbs and fried slices of the artichokes. Truffle oil is a lux addition, but if you can't find any, a good quality extra virgin olive oil will work well too. Be warned though, Jerusalem artichokes are high in inulin, a carbohydrate that stomach flora love, so they can make some people gassy.
JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SOUP
WITH crispy bits & TRUFFLE OIL
For the soup
500g of Jerusalem Artichokes
1 med leek, sliced
Half an onion, diced
Half a stick of celery, sliced
2 fat cloves garlic, sliced
1 bay leaf
thyme (1/2 tsp dried or 2-3 fresh sprigs)
1.5L of chicken or vegetable stock
150ml or heavy cream
A decent knob of butter or extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Half A lemon
1 small Jerusalem artichoke, sliced into thin rounds
Parsley, chervil or chive
Spring onions, sliced.
1 tsp per bowl of Truffle oil or extra virgin olive oil
Get a big bowl of water and squeeze the lemon into it. Jerusalem artichokes discolour really quickly once they're peeled. Give them a good scrub under running water, peel and drop into the lemon water. Slice them into small rounds or chunks, making sure they're about the same size.
On a medium-high heat, melt the butter and/or olive oil. Throw in the Jerusalem artichokes and let them get some colour. This should only take a few minutes, give them a stir every now and then so they don't burn. When they have some gold to their edges, add the garlic, leek, onion, thyme and bay. Once the onion has softened add the stock. You want enough to cover everything so add a bit more stock (or water) if need be.
Simmer until the Jerusalem artichokes are soft. Discard any thyme stalks and the bay leaf and then blitz with a stick blender until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, thin it out with a little water or stock. Add the double cream and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper bring it back to a simmer for a minute or two and turn off the heat.
Cook the prosciutto until crisp. Slice the remaining artichoke into thin disks and fry in a little oil until golden. Arrange, with the remaining ingredients, on to your soup, drizzle over a small amount of truffle oil and serve hot with crusty bread.