Monday, 21 March 2011

Palestine Soup (Jerusalem Artichoke Soup)

Well I'm ba-aaack, I guess. It was an odd week on the computer front. I have not yet really been disconnected from the internet, but as it turns out our old accounting program is so old that the new computer won't run it. We have been obliged to come up with another one (we're trying Gnucash, which is a free program and looks very good) and so have been busy re-entering 2 1/2 years of accounting entries. Oh joy. Still, it's an interesting exercise. I always thought we were fairly budget conscious, but even a year ago we were much more likely to take a "we NEED it - we have to buy it" attitude than we are now. Partly when we moved into a new house there was a bunch of things we did need, I guess, but I think we are also just much more likely to think twice now. Anyway, food...

This is a traditional British soup made with Jerusalem artichokes. There is of course no connection with Palestine beyond their name, which comes through an odd quirk of history - they are from the great lakes region of North America, and are not artichokes.

It's a lovely, mild but full-flavoured soup. I served mine without any topping and did not really miss it. Croutons and bacon bits were another recommended topping which would add a nice bit of crunch to the very smooth soup. (And the soup should be very smooth - as smooth as you can get it. Don't be afraid to cook the vegetables quite soft, and a blender is probably better than a food processor if you have one.)

4 to 6 servings
1 hour 20 minutes - 40 minutes prep time

Palestine Soup
500 grams (1 pound) Jerusalem artichokes
3 shallots
1 cup grated celeriac, or 1 celery stalk
1 cup grated carrot (1 smallish)
1 tablespoon butter or other fat
2 cups good stock or broth
salt & pepper

yogurt or sour cream, if desired

Scrub the artichokes well, and trim off any bad spots. Chop them roughty, and put them on to boil in a large soup pot with about 4 cups of water.

Meanwhile, peel and chop the shallots, and peel and grate the celeriac and carrots. (Trim and chop the celery if using.)

Heat the butter or fat - I had some fat on top of my stock, and used that - and cook down the shallots, celeriac and carrot until quite soft but not browned. Set them aside until the artichokes are ready.

When the artichokes are tender, drain them but keep the cooking water. Purée them very well with the cooked down vegetables in a blender or food processor, adding some of the cooking water as needed to keep them fluid. You will quite certainly need to do this in more than one batch.

Return the puréed soup to the soup pot. Swish out the blender or food processor with any remaining cooking liquid, and add it to the soup. Add the stock.

Reheat the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as-is, or with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Last year at this time I made Chick Pea & Potato Curry #2 and Sweet Breakfast Buns.

1 comment:

CallieK said...

Looks yum! I m planting sunchokes for the first time this year and can't wait! Good to have a recipe in mind for next year's harvest.