Jerusalem artichoke soup with bacon and rye croutons
Photo by Kieran Scott
Jerusalem artichokes make the most delicious soup and one of my favourite winter meals. They are knobbly little things that look a bit like ginger, but taste like a cross between potato, mushroom and garlic. Find them at farmers’ markets and some food stores. They are also incredibly easy to grow. Seek them out to try something different — you won’t regret it. You can mix other vegetables into the soup, such as carrot, celery or pumpkin, if you like.
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|900 g||Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and chopped|
|1||Onion, large, chopped|
|3½ cups||Chicken stock|
|3 cloves||Garlic, minced|
|1 tsp||Nutmeg, freshly grated|
|3 slices||Streaky bacon, chopped|
|2 slices||Rye bread, chopped into small cubes|
|½ cup||Milk, or cream|
|½ cup||Parsley, or chives, chopped|
- Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large saucepan and add artichokes, onion and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes until onion is soft. Add chicken stock and nutmeg, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 20 minutes or until artichokes are soft — test them with a fork.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining Tbsp of oil in a frying pan and fry bacon for 2-3 minutes to render out some fat. Add bread cubes and continue to fry for a further 2-3 minutes or until bacon and bread are crispy. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Transfer soup to a blender with milk or cream and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Season to taste — depending on saltiness of chicken stock, it may not need salt.
- To serve, divide hot soup between bowls and top with bacon, croutons and chopped parsley or chives.