Jerusalem artichoke, aka sunchoke is not the most common root vegetable. It is a bumpy, fleshy root vegetable, surprisingly of the sunflower family plants. Its look resembles to ginger roots. Its underground, nutty, starch rich root is mostly used as potato in cooking although it has more distinct flavor.
However it is a versatile vegetable with an amazing good amount of dietary fiber content. Can be eaten raw, boiled, sautéed, roasted, pureed, made into chips. Without a complete list, its best friends are garlic, cheese, lemon, olive oil, parsley, truffles, wine, thyme, tomatoes. If you are vegan the best nuts to combine it with cashew, hazelnut and walnut. You can leave the skin on, especially if you make chips, or if the dish is more rustic and color is not a problem.
This time I made a creamy soup and served it with goat cheese and truffled, sautéed wild mushrooms nestled in between sunchoke chips. It is great to serve them together, the creamy soup with the crunch of the chips and all the supporting flavors are really good. If it is too much work, you can make the soup and serve it with some mushroom and a goat brie toast. Also you can just make the chips with mushrooms and brie and serve them as hors devours.
Ingredients (yields 4-6)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small, fresh thyme branch
- 2 pounds jerusalem artichoke cleaned, peeled, cubed
- 1 big garlic clove, grated
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 cup of whole milk
- 3-4 cup of vegetable stock or water
- lemon juice to taste
- salt, black pepper to taste
- chopped parsley and chive for garnishing
- optional : sautéed wild mushroom for garnishing (see instruction at the chip bites
- optional: toast to serve it with the soup
- Melt butter with olive oil. Do not brown it!!!
- Add a thyme branch in whole, so you can remove it easily. Sauté for a minute.
- Add cubed sunchokes. Sweat the artichoke for a few minutes, constantly stirring, making sure it will not caramelize.
- Add smashed garlic and some salt.
- Add the white wine. Let the alcohol cook off for a few minutes.
- Add stock/water (what you prefer) and whole milk.
- Bring to a boil.
- I removed thyme at this point so it doesn’t leave a very pronounced flavor. You can leave it if you like the taste but make sure to remove BEFORE blending!
- Cover, reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes in slow simmer.
- Check with a fork that the sunchokes are really soft.
- There might be a bit of curdling of the milk because of the acidity in the wine. Don’t worry about it.
- Transfer to blender. Blend it to a very creamy consistency. Be careful when blending hot soup! Use a towel to cover the middle part of the lid instead of that small plastic bit. This way you can continuously let the steam out.
- If you want the soup to have a really creamy, silky texture, you can strain it through a fine mash strainer.
- Taste and season with salt, ground black pepper and some lemon juice.
Goat brie and truffled mushroom, sunchoke chip bites
- 1-2 big sun chokes, sliced 2nd thinnest setting on mandoline (you will need 6 slices for each person, to serve them 3 bites)
- 1/2 goat brie round, sliced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp truffled butter (or if you have fresh truffles, go for it. In that case grate over the mushroom sauté when it is done!)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pack of 8 oz any kinds of mushrooms, preferably mixed and wild, sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley and tarragon
Instructions for the sautéed mushrooms
- Heat oil with butter.
- When it is foaming add mushrooms. Stir well, making sure that all the pieces get some of the butter.
- Sautee on high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring at some points.
- Add salt and ground black pepper and sautee for another few minutes.
- When it is done add chopped fresh herbs and either serve immediately or cover with a lid if you need to wait a little bit.
- Thinly slice (without peeling) the artichokes across their widest part using a mandoline and fry in batches until golden brown. Leave to drain on kitchen paper, season with salt and some black pepper.
- Place a piece of goat brie and some mushroom in between 2 slices of the chips.
- Serve them on a plate next to the soup.