Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke) Soup with Thyme and Balsamic Onions

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2012. Sorry it is a bit late but hopefully everybody has enjoyed the holidays. I thought I would kick the year off with a rich, velvety vegetable soup that is perfect for a warming lunch but low calorie, dairy free, gluten free and vegan for anyone with good intentions for the new year. If you haven't tried Jerusalem artichokes before then I really do urge you to try them as they add a really nice nutty flavor to mashed potato or can be roasted or even eaten raw in salads. They do, however, have a bad reputation for making things a bit windy so I don't recommend eating them before a job interview, hot date, or anytime you need to sit quietly! By mixing them with potatoes helps to reduce the amount you eat and hence the after effects. Hopefully this won't put you all off this recipe as I admit that I haven't exactly sold this one to you. But trust me this really is a tasty, hearty and seasonal soup.

Sunchoke Soup with Thyme and Balsamic Onions (Serves 2-3)
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free
400g/14oz Potatoes (a floury potato variety is best)
400g /14oz Sunchoke/Jerusalem artichokes
1 Large onion
1-2tbs Vegetable or olive oil
1tbs Balsamic vinegar
1/2tbs Sugar

1tbs Dried thyme
1 Bay leaf
1L/35floz/4 cups Good quality vegetable stock
1tsp Ground black pepper
Salt to taste

  • Wash and scrub the potatoes and sunchokes and peel if preferred. I left the peel on the sunchokes and removed the potato peel as it was a bit thick. Then cube them and set them to one side.
  • Slice the onion thinly and add to a pot with the oil. Heat over a low to medium heat so that they begin to soften and cook until golden brown. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook until the vinegar has been absorbed/evaporated and the onions have caramelized. Remove a small amount of the onions for garnish and set aside. 
  • Add the potatoes and sunchokes to the remaining onion mix and add the vegetable stock to cover the vegetables. Stir to ensure the balsamic glaze left in the pan doesn't burn. Add the dried herbs and black pepper. Simmer over a low to medium heat until the potato and sunchokes are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending until smooth. Taste and add any additional salt or extra thyme or water to thin it out. Serve warm. 
  • This recipe does freeze and can be refrigerated for a couple of days.

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