From the same family as the sunflower, the Jerusalem Artichoke makes up for a lack of visual beauty by packing a hefty punch of flavour. In season in the UK from October – March but absolutely one of their best months is January. If you haven’t cooked with Jerusalem Artichokes before this is a super easy recipe to win you over.
- 500g Jerusalem Artichokes (unpeeled weight)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 60g butter
- 1 shallot – sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic – chopped
- 1/2 bay leaf , sprig of thyme, sprig of tarragon
- 250ml semi skimmed milk
- 400ml good vegetable stock
- 125ml double cream
- Fill a large bowl with water, add ½ the lemon juice
- Scrape the artichokes with a table spoon (rather than using a peeler) to remove the dark outer skin and place in the lemon water.
- Slice the artichokes as thinly as possible and add back into the lemon water. Use a mandoline to do this if you have one.
- Melt the butter in a large, lidded sauce pan.
- Add the shallots and garlic and soften.
- Lift the artichoke slices from the lemon water and add to the pan along with the bay leaf, thyme and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a low heat with the lid on for about 8 minutes. Checking and stirring occasionally.
- While that cooks, in a separate pan heat the milk.
- Add the hot milk to the artichokes along with the vegetable stock. Bring to a gentle boil and skim away any foam or froth that has formed on the top.
- Lower to a simmer and cook till the artichokes are soft and tender. Approx. 15 – 20 minutes depending on how thin you have sliced them.
- Remove the bay leaf and the spring of thyme. Using a soup or stick blender, blitz the contents of the sauce pan thoroughly and pass through a fine sieve into a new sauce pan, making sure to push all the soup through.
- Season with the remaining lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Bring the soup back to the boil and stir in the cream to finish.
- Serve immediately with a few drops of either truffle oil or good quality olive oil and some chopped tarragon. Alternatively chill down and freeze.
*Lots of the Artichokes flavour is just under the skin, by scraping the skin with a spoon rather than peeling you are keeping more of the flavour.