Thursday, January 10, 2013

Recipe: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup & Crispy Chorizo

Jerusalem artichokes are one of my favourite vegetables and one which I only discovered during my time in Ballymaloe. During a cold winter's day, it was a soup which really brought this vegetable to life and since then I've been making my own version of Jerusalem artichoke soup for friends and family and it's an absolute winner.

Image Source: BBC Recipes

Commonly referred to as 'fartichokes', yes you've read it right, they've earned their nickname because... well I think you might have guessed why. In the cold months of late November and right through until mid-to-late February these tasty little vegetables are in season but are tricky enough to find as you won't pick them up in the bigger supermarkets. When picking up some veggies in the local greengrocer, I usually keep an eye out to see if they're stocked but they can always be found in Cork's English Market or local organic stores.

Jerusalem artichokes have a distinctive appearance similar to ginger only smaller, fatter and bumpier (and taste absolutely nothing at all like ginger in case you're wondering). Apart from making a delicious soup, Jerusalem Artichokes are delicious roasted and pair well with pheasant too.


Serves 6

Shopping List:

- 50g Butter
- 1 Shallot (sliced)
- 2 Leeks (white part only, thinly sliced save the green part for vegetable stock)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (sliced)
- 2 Sprigs Thyme (destalked) 
- 150ml Riesling White Wine (optional)
- 1kg Jerusalem artichokes
- 1 - 1.2L Homemade Chicken Stock (or Vegetable Stock)
- 150ml Cream
- Salt & Black Pepper

Serve:

- 200g Gubbeen Chorizo



Method:

1. Sweat the shallots, garlic and thyme in butter with some seasoning over a gentle heat until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the leaks, sweat for a few minutes before adding in the wine if using allowing it to reduce down.

2. Add in the Jerusalem artichokes, pour in the chicken stock, season and allow to cook over a gentle heat until the artichokes are soft. Add in the cream and puree the soup with a hand blender. Adjust for seasoning if necessary.

3. Place a pan on a gentle heat with a drizzle of olive oil, fry your sliced chorizo in the pan for 2 minutes, turning once. Dry the chorizo and serve with the soup and a generous dollop of Crème Fraîche.

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Note: Scrub your artichokes well before giving them a quick wash. When peeling them have a bowl of water with the juice of a lemon in it to prevent the Jerusalem Artichokes from turning brown.