Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Jerusalem Fart-ichoke (Artichoke) Soup

Jerusalem artichokes are one of those things that you either love or hate - especially depending on your digestive system! They are part of the sunflower family, and not related to artichokes or Jerusalem at all, but they do have a reputation for giving some people gas. I think as long as they are peeled and cooked correctly, there isn't a problem. I tried growing some a couple of years ago and nothing happened, much to my dismay. Then in disgust gave up and I threw some sunflower seeds down the back...and nothing happened. Then all of a sudden, they grew...but they didn't look like the sunflowers I'd sown. Light finally dawned on me when they died off and I stuck my hand down around the base to find these. Duh! they finally took off, those Jerusalem artichokes I'd given up on.

Soup was definitely called for, so not really knowing what to do, I had a look around for a good recipe. I didn't really find one that appealed, but I did find Jaime Oliver's recipe for sauteed Jerusalem Artichokes So I followed that, and then put them in the blender with some chicken style stock (massel). Wow! So creamy and delicious, with a squeeze of lemon and a little thyme, it was perfect! The Beloved thought I'd put some cream into it, but honestly, they were so perfectly fresh, straight out of the garden and into my pot, I don't think it would be the same with store bought ones (they deteriorate quite quickly). So if you happen to grow some, or know someone who does, definitely give this one a shot. And even if you don't like eating them, they sure look pretty as a perennial sunflower patch!

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