Wednesday, May 30, 2007

May 27, 2007: Jerusalem artichoke soup

The main reason for our trip to the Queen Vic Markets on Sunday morning was to hunt down Jerusalem artichokes which, it turns out, are neither from Jerusalem or from the artichoke family. Regardless, I'd read that they made a tremendous base for a soup, and some quick googling turned up this recipe at Cook Sister!

We managed to locate some of the 'artichokes' at in the organic section of the markets (I've since noticed that they're everywhere at the moment) and rounded up the rest of the required ingredients. The recipe is pretty simple, although peeling half a kilo of Jerusalem artichokes is a bit painful. Still, once the potato and artichokes are peeled and roughly chopped, it's plain sailing. A bit of frying, some boiling in stock and a quick run through a food processor and you're ready to go.

The end result was a fine soup. The 'artichokes' added a subtle but distinct flavour. It's hard to describe - I wouldn't really compare it to regular artichokes, but can't offer up any better point of comparison. The addition of the brandy was probably unnecessary - I didn't really taste it in the final product and we're now stuck with most of a bottle of very cheap brandy (any ideas on how to use it in cooking would be appreciated), but the cream was a worthwhile addition - smoothing the soup out and adding a bit of richness. Throw in a loaf of walnut and rye bread from one of the QVM bakers, and you've got a comforting and delicious winter meal.

Once again, for those of you who want to try this out, and I recommend that you do, the recipe is here.


  1. I always find jerusalam artichokes quite weird looking (they look like ginger to me) but hope to understand them one of these days. Re your brandy - we once had an onion soup with lots of brandy in it at a dinner party which made everyone nicely sozzled by the end of the first course. Or I think you can always put it in a chocolate cake.

  2. Haha, I have never encountered sozzling soup before! I'm sure I do have some dessert recipes tucked away that call for brandy.

  3. Cindy, glad you enjoyed your soup. I tried jerusalum artichoke soup a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Good Weekend had a recipe last year for jerusalem artichoke veloute, which was a really thick and creamy soup. I use my brandy each year to make Christmas pudding and accompanying brandy sauce. You can also use it in place of other specified alcohol (eg rum or whisky) when making chocolate cakes or desserts.

  4. Hi Melinda, I think I have a whole swag of baking recipes from Nigella that will suit the brandy! The JA soup recipe you have sounds lovely.

  5. Seems like a weird question - but did it make you fart a lot? A friend of mine told me a story about serving this soup at a dinner party once and essentially transforming the entire guest list into her own personal bottom orchestra - everyone got the farts going within minutes and they could not be politely smothered!

  6. Haha, Hedge, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, and certainly not within minutes of eating it!

    I will make a mental note not to risk it at a dinner party anyway. :D