Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Sage Croutons Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 45 minutes /Yield: 4 servings
• 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 slices bread, preferably country bread, crusts removed and cut into 1/4-inch dice to make 1 cup
• 3 leaves sage, finely sliced
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cut into 3 chunks
• 1 large onion, and thinly sliced
• 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced (optional)
• 1 medium leek, thinly sliced, washed and dried
• 1 celery stalk, and thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled, split
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper
• Bouquet garni (2 sprigs sage, 2 sprigs thyme, and 1 bay leaf, wrapped in a leek green and tied)
• 2 pounds Jerusalem Artichoke, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
• 2 quarts unsalted chicken or vegetable stock or water
• 1 small potato, peeled and diced
• 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
Make the Croutons: Warm the olive oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the bread, sage, and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the bread is crisp and golden brown. Discard the garlic and drain the croutons on a double thickness of paper towels. Save the crisp sage leaves to garnish the soup.
Make the Soup: Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large casserole over medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it renders its fat, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion, fennel, leek, celery, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the bouquet garni and cook, stirring from time to time for 5 minutes. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Pour in the stock or water, add the potatoes and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and bring the mixture to the boil. Lower the heat so that the soup simmers and cook, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, skimming the foam from the surface as needed. Spoon out the pieces of pancetta or bacon, cut them into small dice, and set them aside until serving time. Discard the bouquet garni.
Using a blender, hand-held immersion blender, or a food processor, and working in batches, puree the soup until it is very smooth. Strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve into a large saucepan and taste for salt and pepper, adding seasoning as needed. Add the cream to the soup and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and keep the soup warm while you make the croutons.
To Serve: Ladle the soup into warm bowls and top each serving with some of the reserved diced pancetta or bacon, a few croutons, and some strands of crisped sage.
Courtesy of Illène Pevec
Jerusalem artichokes (from 1 to 10 pounds)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wash sunchokes well with a potato
scrubber. Place in a food processor and slice. Drizzle olive oil onto
a baking sheet and rub with your fingers to coat the pan. Spread
the sunchoke slices into a single layer across the baking sheet.
Sprinkle lightly with salt (you can add another herb if you wish.)
Bake until the chips are somewhat dry and have turned a slightly
toasty color. As they dehydrate in the oven, the sunchoke chips
will become very sweet. Cooking times will vary depending on
the amount of sunchokes in the oven at once, so check for doneness
after 45 minutes, and then every 15 minutes so that they
don’t burn. This process works with beets, potatoes, carrots and
parsnips, too. Serve sunchoke chips alone or mixed with other
veggie chips. They make great hors d’oeuvres, snacks or an accompaniment
to a meal in need of a crispy contrast.
Grated Jerusalem artichoke salad
Wash and peel the Jerusalem artichokes. Grate the Jerusalem artichokes and carrots into a bowl. Toast walnuts, let cool and cut finely. Toss into salad with the raisins.
For the balsamic vinegrette: Put one tablespoon dijon mustard into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Whisk with a fork and slowly add four times that amount in olive oil. Continue to whisk till blended then dress the salad. Enjoy!