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 (Main)|
|1||Onion, large, chopped|
|3 ½ cups||Chicken stock|
|3 cloves||Garlic, minced|
|1 tsp||Nutmeg, freshly grated|
|3 slices||Streaky bacon, chopped (Main)|
|2 slices||Rye bread, chopped into small cubes|
|½ cup||Milk, or cream|
|½ cup||Parsley, or chives, chopped|
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- 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.