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. (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).
This soup was a great opportunity to road-test my new pan set from Circulon, made of high-density forged aluminium.
From the moment you pick one of these pans up you can feel just how well-made they are – pleasingly heavy, with smooth lines and a brushed stainless steel handle. The saucepans are deep, and I’ve found that I can boil things more vigorously with no spillage, and less spattering from messy sauces.
You can use metal utensils in them without affecting the non-stickiness, and they are properly dishwasher safe. What a bonus!
The pans work brilliantly on my induction hob, with super-duper heat conduction for fast and even heating, (aluminium is second only to copper for this. I’m told!). These are serious pans, and come with a lifetime warranty as proof of their sturdiness. They are just lovely to cook in and easy to clean.
And one of you lucky readers could win a set all of your own, by entering my giveaway! Just scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter.
Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke & Parsnip Soup
- 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). Finally, 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.
WIN a Circulon Ultimum Forged High Density 4 Piece Pan Set
To win your very own set of these wonderful pans just in time to cook your Christmas Dinner, enter my giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below. (Please note that this is open to UK residents only, and entries close at midnight on Sunday 26th November). Good luck!
Terms & Conditions
There is 1 prize of a 4-piece Circulon Ultimum Forged High Density Pan Set.
The winner will be announced on the Rafflecopter widget after the prize has been claimed.
The prize will be delivered to the winner as soon as possible.
There is no cash alternative and the prize is not transferable.
This giveaway is open to UK entrants over the age of 18 only, and runs until midnight on Sunday 26th November 2017.
The Veg Space, as the promoter, reserves the right to cancel or amend the giveaway and these terms and conditions without notice.
If the winner doesn’t respond to the email within 5 days, another winner will be picked.
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Disclosure: Circulon gave me a 4-piece pan set to review, plus another to give away. There was no expectation of a positive review and all opinions are my own.