This silky Jerusalem Artichoke Soup is rich and savoury - a deeply satisfying winter warmer soup, perfect with a hunk of crusty bread.
What alchemy happens when you cook a Jerusalem artichoke? How can something so ugly, gnarled and knobbly transform into such a silky and luxurious soup?
It is such a shame that it seems impossible to find these tasty tubers in supermarkets these days - I wonder why?
They are so easy to grow, incredibly tasty and cheap. Perhaps their unconventional looks or lack of uniformity doesn't suit being plastic-wrapped into neat little trays. Perhaps they can't compete for our attention with pretty rainbow carrots or purple potatoes.
Or could it be that their windy side-effects are just a bit embarrassing, (they are affectionately known as Jerusalem fartichokes in our house...!)?
Do seek them out - at farmers' markets, greengrocers, from allotment-keepers, or grow your own. This silky soup is worth it - the nutty artichokes, sweet parsnips, roasted garlic and thyme turn into a bowlful of autumnal loveliness.
The magic happens in the baking tray here, with all the ingredients roasted together until soft and sweet, then just tipped into a saucepan at the last minute to finish cooking and blitz.
What you need to make your Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
Jerusalem artichokes obviously! They are in season from November through to January so a real winter veg. As I said above they aren't easy to find in supermarkets but are really easy to grow (but do need quite a bit of space), or look out for them at your local Farmers' Market.
Parsnips Their sweetness, especially when roasted, works really well in this silky soup, but if you don't have any handy, floury potatoes or any other root veg will work well too.
Garlic Don't be concerned by the inclusion of three garlic cloves between four people - when slow-roasted in the oven garlic turns mellow and soft, with all of the flavour and sweetness but none of the death-breath.
Dairy-free milk I used hazelnut milk which was a really lovely flavour with the root veg, but any plant milk will be fine - unsweetened is best as the soup has quite a bit of sweetness already.
Vegetable stock A good-quality vegetable bouillon powder is idea, but a stock cube is also fine - just check the ingredients before you buy as some are not vegan.
There’s no fancy equipment needed to make soup, of course, though to get a lovely velvet-smooth texture you do need a way of part-blending it.
I use a stick blender which is so quick and easy as you just shove it in the saucepan, blitz for a minute or two and you’re done. They are reasonably priced, you can pick up a basic model like this one* for just over £10 these days, and if you make a lot of homemade soup you won’t regret it.
Mine is this Dualit model* which also has a chopping bowl and whisk, both of which I use a lot.
Alternatively, if you have a blender or food processor you can tip the whole lot in, blitz and return to the saucepan.
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Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with parsnips
- 400g jerusalem artichokes
- 300g parsnips (about 2 large parsnips)
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 200ml dairy-free milk (I used hazelnut milk)
- 600ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp walnut pieces (optional - for garnish)
- handful fresh parsley (optional - for garnish)
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil (for roasting)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Peel and thickly slice the jerusalem artichokes, parsnips and onion and place on a large baking tray. Add the garlic cloves (leaving them in their skin), and scatter over the thyme (stripping the leaves off the main stalks).
- Drizzle over the oil, season well with salt and black pepper, then mix well then roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Squeeze the garlic flesh out of the skins, (discard the skins), and remove any remaining thyme stalks, then tip the roasted vegetables into a saucepan.
- Pour in the dairy-free milk and vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then blitz to a smooth purée in a blender, food processor or with a hand blender.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as required. Serve scattered with walnut pieces and chopped parsley.