It’s October everyone! It’s the month of pumpkin pies and pumpkin rolls and pumpkin bread and … pumpkin everything basically. All I can see in supermarkets nowadays are only pumpkin themed foods and decorations (not to mention the pumpkins themselves). I sort of like all this “pumpkinforia” going around in October but I try to keep away from the overuse of this delicious fruit (yeah … it’s a giant fruit) as much as possible. I sort of ‘save myself’ for Halloween if one could say so . I love the holiday and I am actually pretty happy Denmark has slowly adopted it as its own.
Although a pumpkin related recipe is in the making and it will soon be up on the blog, today I want to direct your attention towards a ‘not so famous’ root vegetable that makes for an incredibly delicious soup: Jerusalem artichoke.
Despite its name , this little potato shaped root has no relation either to artichoke nor Jerusalem. It is believed that it got its name after a vast etymological mash-up from various names people have attributed to it along time. It resembles a ginger root on the outside, has the texture of a potato on the inside and tastes a bit like apples if you take a raw bite. Nevertheless, it is absolutely delicious!
I’ve had a hard time finding Jerusalem artichoke here in Denmark (especially because it has a completely different name) but once I did, I was pleased to find it at a quite low price and in abundance. Perfect attributes for this awesome veggie, which is not only super tasty but it’s also a great source of iron and potassium.
The texture and taste of this is soup is quite unique and I couldn’t really say what it resembles. So if you are on the lookout for trying something new, this is it !
A Jerusalem artichoke soup recipe that I found a while back, proposed using the roots unpeeled. Just giving them a good scrub and cutting of the stubs. But I was not so excited at the idea of straining the soup, after blending all the ingredients, and basically throwing away most of the nutritious part . Therefore, I prefer going through the trouble of slightly peeling them and using most of the artichoke (even if it might seem like a hassle the first time you do it ). Other than the peeling, I would say that this soup is pretty straight forward: stir, boil, blend, enjoy!
Because I don’t like wasting food at all, I usually keep old bread in my cupboard for when I need to make some fast croutons. And this soup screams ‘croutons’! You can also add a splash of olive oil and a dust of garlic powder on the croutons and throw them in the oven for 10 minutes or so, and you got yourself a snack. There are loads of tricks you can use in order to transform left-overs or old food in a new and very appetizing dish. I am actually planning a post on the most common foods people throw away as left overs and how you can re-purpose them for a great meal. Meanwhile, I dare you to try the ‘garlic croutons’ trick and let me know how you like it !
While we are still talking about tricks , I feel like I really need to share this simple kitchen hack (which many of you might already know) and that is : using scissors instead of a chopping knife . I found that whenever I needed to chop a small amount of fresh herbs (for decoration or a boost of taste) using a pair of scissors made it easier and there were no pieces left on the cutting board. I don’t recommend giving up on your chopping knife and board just yet though. This is a solution only for light chopping and only for certain herbs.
There is a certain feeling of well-being that I get every time I enjoy a hot, creamy soup on a cold, windy day. The year when I came to live in Denmark greeted me with a really nice and warm summer. So, when autumn came, I found myself lingering over any piece of warmth I could find. Hot, creamy soups became some sort of a comforting food which helped me better understand what danish ‘hygge’ was all about and got me through my first Nordic winter as well.
Let me know about your cold weather comfort foods in the comments bellow and also if you have any questions related to this recipe or its ingredients.
- 60 gr/ 4 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 450 gr/ 16 ounces lightly peeled and coarsely cut Jerusalem artichoke
- 700 ml/ 3¾ cups of vegetable stock
- 150 ml/ ⅔ cups of milk or almond milk(for vegetarians)
- 60 gr/ ¼ heavy cream (optional)
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- freshly chopped chives
- bread croutons
- Pour the olive oil (melted butter) in a heavy pan, stir in the onions and cook them for about 5 minutes or until they get soft. I recommend having your stove on medium to high temperature.
- Add the Jerusalem artichoke to the pan and stir until coated with the olive oil (butter)
- Cover the pan and let it cook at low to medium temperature for about 15 minutes.
- Uncover the pan and pour in the chicken stock and milk, in the mentioned order. Increase the temperature to bring it to boil and then reduce again the temperature, cover the pan and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.
- After simmering, take the pan away from the stove and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
- You can use a self standing blender , a food processor or a hand-blender for pureeing the soup. I recommend the hand-blender though. It is easier to use and you make less of a mess by using it directly into the pan.
- At this point you can start pouring in little by little the heavy cream , in case you do not wish to have a vegan dish . Make sure you give it a good blend after pouring in the cream and use only as much as you like.
- Season to taste with sea salt and freshly grounded pepper , and give it another stir .
- For serving: Prepare the croutons in advance and place them on top of the soup bowl only a couple of minutes before serving. The freshly chopped chives can also be placed on top of the soup moments before serving or left in a bowl at close reach.
It cannot be kept for too long in the fridge due to the dairy products (maximum 3 days), but if you choose the vegan version you can store it up to 6 days.
If you choose to reheat it , add a splash of milk to it before turning on the stove.