Thursday, December 3, 2009

Artichoke & Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

I really like soup. And it's actually cold here (30s!) which is all the inspiration needed to start making soup this week. A few days ago I made some beef vegetable barley soup. Yesterday I made a pot of this soup, and as I type, I'm having leftovers for breakfast. Soup for breakfast is the perfect way to start a chilly day! (Well, maybe not the beef vegetable barley first thing in the morning.)

I've made this soup several times before using only regular (globe) artichokes. But, I noticed that my favorite grocery store sells Jerusalem artichokes too, and I was so excited to make it with both! Actually, I had never purchased (or even eaten) Jerusalem artichokes, so I was anxious to see how it would be different that what I had made in the past.

Plus, it's always fun to use an immersion blender. Though, some words of advice when making this at home. Artichokes are very fibrous. Even after then are trimmed and sautéed and simmered. You will likely need to pause and clean the blades a few times when blending the soup.

And, even after it looks nice & smooth, it needs to be run through some kind of strainer or chinois to remove the rest of the fibers because having any of those remain in your finished soup is not good. Trust me. It's not a fun process, but the results are well worth it. Note: Do not use the inside of a salad spinner as shown above. This was not nearly fine enough and too many shreds of fibrous material made their way into the finished soup.

Artichoke & Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
Adapted from Gourmet

1 lb Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
2 globe artichokes (or use 3-4 if not using Jerusalem artichokes)
1 lemon
1 onion
olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup white wine
2 1/2 Cups chicken broth

1. Prepare vegetables:
  • Jerusalem artichokes by peeling and cutting into large (1/2") dice/slices
  • Prepare globe artichokes by snapping back outer leaves until they break. Cut off the rest of the leaves, within 1" of the base. Peel the stem and trim off the end. Quarter the artichoke and remove the fuzzy choke with a grapefruit spoon. Split the section again to make eighths. Drop the cleaned & trimmed pieces into a large bowl of water with juice from one lemon squeezed in to prevent browning.
  • Dice one onion
2. Melt butter and olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot. Drain globe artichokes, and add them along with onion and Jerusalem artichokes to the pan. Sautee for 8-10 minutes until onions are translucent and veggies are crisp-tender. Add white wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add chicken broth, bring to boil then cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Turn off heat and allow soup to cool in the pot for 15 minutes or so. Use an immersion blender to puree the mix. Clean the blade frequently as it may become clogged with fibers. The soup can also be pureed in batches in a blender or food processor. Strain the pureed soup through a strainer or chinois. This will be a real workout on the arms pressing it through. Make sure to scrape down the goodness will adhere to the back of the strainer.

4. You can make this a cream soup by finishing with up to 1/2 Cup of heavy cream, but it's not required. And I'm not really sure it needs any garnish either, but am open to suggestions!

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