Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Jerusalem Artichoke and Carrot Soup

I have become slightly addicted to the Oxfam bookshop, and frequently go in to the one by uni to check out the cookery book selection. The one in Morningside has a better selection of fancy books though, I guess because the people of Morningside have a bit more cash to splash and will give away books that are still pretty current and in good condition. The other day I nabbed the Green & Blacks' Chocolate book for £1.50!

About a year ago I got the New Covent Garden Soup book. My dad has it and I had been trying to decide whether to buy it or just steal my dad's copy, but it was in Oxfam for £2 so I went for it. I've been trying to work my way through but I've probably only done about 10% of the book so far.

I got some Jerusalem artichokes at the famers' market on Saturday, and I'd never eaten them before, so I didn't really know what to expect. As I was making the soup, I sneaked a piece out and tried it. It had the texture of a potato, but a nuttier taste. I still have a couple left so I might make them in to a mash or a mixed vegetable gratin.

I have had mixed results with the NCG book, with some being totally delicious (Chicken, lemon and tarragon) and some being quite disappointing (pappa al pomodoro). This one was quite successful, and I liked the flavour of the Jerusalem artichokes sweetened with the carrot. It also uses milk so it wasn't overwhelmingly creamy.

Recipe (adapted from New Covent Garden Soup Co's Book of Soups)

25g unsalted butter
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
400g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
240g carrots, sliced
50g carrots, finely grated
1l chicken stock
110ml milk
salt and pepper

Saute the onion and garlic in the butter on a low heat for 5 minutes until soft, but do not colour them. Add the chopped artichokes and carrots, and give it all a good stir.

After a couple of minutes, add the stock (I used the chicken stock I'd frozen earlier, I used 600ml stock and 400ml water as the stock was quite strong) and simmer for 20 minutes.

Blend it all up, and then add the milk. Stir in the grated carrot to add to the texture. Season the soup to taste.

Et voila!

I found this made about 5 smallish portions, but mine was quite thick, so you could probably water it down a bit if you prefer a thinner texture or need more portions.