I adore Jersusalem artichokes but I may as well be up front. They aren’t known as fartichokes for nothing. Do not serve these to anyone on a first date, unless you really want to make an impression. That being said my family know no shame, so they’ve always been popular chez Wilkins.
They aren’t actually artichokes, but the tubers of a member of the sunflower family, which is why they are know as sunchokes in America. Although the little knobbly tubers look a little intimidating, they are prepared in exactly the same way as a potato or other tuber. Peel and chop. Done.
I eat at the York & Albany by Regent’s Park at least twice a week. Although what I really want to stuff in my face are their delicious pizzas, I am good and order the healthier options. I’ve eaten their Jerusalem Artichoke soup with mushrooms three times, and loved the creamy, earthy soup balanced with the rich buttery mushrooms. So, I thought I’d have a crack at my own version.
It’s super duper simple. As to be honest, most soups are. A pound/500gms-ish makes enough soup for four people as a first course.
So do the peel & chop thing. Then chop half an onion. Sweat (cook slowly) in butter and olive oil. When the onions are soft and translucent – a good long five minutes, add the artichokes and cover with vegetable stock – I used boiling water & Marigold Bouillon powder. water. Boil them until they are soft. * Add a little milk or cream. Blend either in a jug blender or with an immersion stick blender. Season to taste with lots of black pepper & salt. Add more liquid if it’s too thick. Check seasoning again
*Whilst the tuber chunks are simmering away, melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan, and when it’s nicely frothy add two large handfuls of chopped quite small mushrooms. I like chestnut. Cook ’till soft over a medium heat and season with Maldon salt.
Serve in bowls, with a big heaped spoonful of mushrooms in the middle, adding any mushroom juices, and a drizzle of cream if you want to be fancy pants.