Jerusalem artichoke soup - One of winter's many naural treasures
By: Carina Bruun and Annette Juul Jørgensen, gardener and kitchen employee at Naturkraft
Many tasty treats can still be harvested from the kitchen garden during mild winters. During this time, I like to pull up a very special tuber from the dark soil, namely the Jerusalem artichoke. This little tuber is part of the daisy family, which also includes the sunflower. Just take a moment to notice how much they actually look like each other when we reach late summer next year.
If you want to try your hand at growing Jerusalem artichokes in your own garden, you can buy them in pots at nurseries. If you buy Jerusalem artichokes in a supermarket, you can also keep a couple of tubers and put them in the ground. They are extremely easy to deal with and very willing to germinate. Remember to plant them in a place where they won¨'t shade other things, as they can easily reach a couple of metres in height.
The troublesome tuber
The Jerusalem artichoke has a history that's closely interlinked with the Indians. During its time, the little tuber spread widely in America - with particularly good growing conditions in the north, as it thrives in the colder climate. Like many other plants, it was also an explorer who brought the Jerusalem artichoke with him to Europe. Here it quickly became popular as it can be harvested throughout the winter. It was only when the potato gained ground that the popularity of the Jerusalem artichoke began to wane.
Although the Jerusalem artichoke can be difficult to clean, it also contains many other good properties. The tuber contains several good vitamins, and this small tuber has a relatively high carbohydrate content (inulin), which can help boost good bacteria in the gut.
Something to keep you warm
We've been playing around with the interaction between different tastes in the kitchen. We hope this soup will bring you some extra warmth and cosiness during this cold time.
Annette's delicious Jerusalem artichoke soup for the whole family (serves 4-6)
You will need:
- 20 Jerusalem artichokes
- 1-2 sweet potatoes
- 3 baking potatoes
- 3 onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ½ chilli
- 1 dl. oil
- 3 tsp thyme
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ litre cream or full fat milk
- ½ organic lemon - save the lemon for garnish
- Season with salt, pepper and honey
- Broadleaf parsley (optional)
- Clean and peel the Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, baking potatoes and onions. Then roughly cut them into smaller pieces.
- Toss the pieces in oil together with the thyme and salt. Bake in the oven at 225 degrees for about 20 minutes. The baking stage helps to release a delicious flavour from the vegetables.
- While the vegetables are baking, prepare the garlic and chilli. Peel the garlic and roughly cut into small pieces.
- When the baked vegetables are ready in the oven, sieve the remaining thyme oil from the pieces. The oil is used to fry the garlic and chilli. Add the remaining vegetables to the saucepan and fry for a few minutes. It is important to keep a close eye on the vegetables to make sure they don't burn.
- Add the vegetable stock and cream or full fat milk. Bring the soup to a boil. Then remove the soup from the heat and blend. You can create the consistency you like best. If you blend the soup a little, the soup will be thicker and have chunks of vegetables. If you blend the soup more, it will have a smoother consistency.
- Season the soup with lemon, salt and pepper. If desired, the thickness can be adjusted with a little extra cream/full fat milk.
- When serving the soup, use a little broadleaf parsley and grated lemon zest as garnish.