A number of days ago my uncle Greg kindly knocked on my door bearing gifts from the allotment: Jerusalem artichokes. Bit of a first for me here, but not wanting to waste them I jumped on an internet enabled laptop and found this corker for a recipe courtesy of HFW. The only thing I have changed is the oil topping. In his recipe Hugh makes a chestnut and parsley pesto, which on this rainy Sunday morning felt more effort than it was worth. Instead I used what I had around me: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, white wine vinegar, parmesan reggiano and basil. The zestiness cuts through this rich soup beautifuly. Just as good if not better I dare say.
50g salted butter
1kg Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cubed
350g leeks, washed and finely sliced
100g potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.6 litres chicken or vegetable stock
100ml double cream
Salt and pepper
Basil oil, to finish (optional, but advised)
In large, heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat, then gently sweat all the vegetables until soft – about 20 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the artichokes can be easily mashed against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Leave to cool slightly.
Liquidise the soup until smooth (you may need to do this in batches), then return to the pot. Warm over a medium heat, add the cream and season generously. Serve in warmed bowls, topped with a spoonful of the basil oil and enjoy with some crusty bread.