Have you heard of sunchokes? I had before but never tasted or even seen one. I was at Seed Saturday this past weekend and there was this wonderful man telling me how great they are. I got to taste a slice of a raw sunchoke and it was pretty good. Not too sweet and crisp. So after a lengthy discussion with the farmer, I purchased a $3 bag of organic sunchokes.
Now, what the heck was I going to do with this oddly shaped bundle of starch? The loverly farmer who sold them to me suggested to plant them because they grow so well and they are a relative of the sunflower so I would get pretty flowers as well as a ton of sunchokes. Problem is, I live in a new house with not much of backyard. Planting was definitely out. However, I have seen a few recipes floating around the interweb of sunchoke soup. Making soup sounded like a great idea and it was.
Here’s the deal with sunchokes which I had no idea and I’m sure most people do know but this is one of those food things that had totally alluded me … Jerusalem artichokes are sunchokes. Okay, for all you smart people out their, keep your comments to yourself. I had no idea. But now I’m feeling pretty snappy about these delicious little tubers. And with this new found knowledge a soup was born.
With the thought of making a soup my research began. I had to figure out what vegetables to pair the sunchoke with and what flavour profiles and herbs to use. These are super serious things to find out. In my research, I did learn one very important fact about the sunchokes. This little tidbit of information is critical. In some instances, if someone were to say, eat a lot of sunchokes at one time they could experience digestive discomfort. Yes, it’s true! I read about people farting like there was no tomorrow. I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want to eat a soup or anything for that matter I know may have the potential to cause a gaseous irruption.
Taking all that information into consideration. Let’s make a soup!
Sunchokes are of course the star of this soup but there are some crucial components which work extremely well. Yellow potatoes bring the creamy smoothness and balance the flavours. My first step was to steam one pound. I choose to steam instead of roasting the potatoes because I didn’t want to enhance their flavour but to take advantage of their smooth texture.
Step two was roasting the sunchokes along with the carrots. I wanted to bring out all the sugars from both of these vegetables. I choose carrots not only because of their sugary goodness but also for their colour which takes this soup from a boring beige to a beautiful orange.
Once everything was steamed and roasted this soup comes together quickly. I started with putting the potatoes in my soup pot along with leeks, garlic, and dried thyme. Next comes the vegetable broth. Let those heat together for approximately 10 minutes. Next, I took the soup off the stove and poured it into my blender. I zapped it until smooth and then poured it back into my soup pot but I did leave a bit left because next, I add the roasted sunchokes and carrots to the blender. Once blended add it to your soup pot and give it a good stir. Now all the ingredients are together. Gently heat and let all those flavours combine.
For those who prefer a chunkier soup, you could easily blend only the leeks, garlic and potatoes and then stir in chopped sunchokes and carrots. That would be lovely with great texture and the next time I make this soup that is exactly what I’m going to do.
Make sure you are tasting as you cook this soup to ensure you are happy with the flavours. And as you can see from my picture I chopped extra sunchokes, potatoes, and carrots and roasted them separately to use as a garnish. In my world soups need a garnish. A simple garnish can take your soup from boring to fabulous!
One final note we should discuss are the health benefits of the Sunchoke and/or Jerusalem Artichoke. It helps relieve asthma, as well as constipation and is also good for your lungs. It’s also packed with A and B vitamins, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium.
If you decide to make this soup have fun with it and remember not to add too many sunchokes. You now know how explosive they can be. Enjoy!
- 1/2 pound sunchokes, (Jerusalem artichokes)
- 1/2 pound carrots
- 1 pound yellow potatoes
- 1 cup leeks, chopped, (white & light green parts only)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp thyme, dried
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- To start, using a vegetable peeler, remove any dark knobs off the sunchokes but you can leave the skin on. Roughly chop.
- Peel the carrots and roughly chop.
- Place the chopped sunchokes and carrots on the sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, stir them around and roast for approximately 15 minutes stirring the veggies halfway through.
- While the veggies are roasting, clean and roughly chop the potatoes.
- Over medium to low heat steam the yellow potatoes just until a knife is easily inserted. Once done set aside to cool.
- Using your soup pot over a medium heat add 1 tbsp olive oil and add the leeks and sautée until gently cooked. Now add your minced garlic.
- After 30 seconds add the steamed potatoes, and thyme and stir to combine.
- Add your vegetable broth and bring to a gentle boil.
- Once heated turn off the heat and carefully pour the potato mixture into your blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can use your stick blender.
- After blending until smooth pour 3/4 of the mixture back into your soup pot.
- Add the roasted sunchokes and carrots to the blender along with a bit of the potato mixture. Now blend until smooth.
- Pour the sunchoke and carrot mixture into the soup pot and stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Taste for seasonings adding your desired amount of salt and pepper.
- Your creamy sunchoke soup is now ready to serve. Enjoy!