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.