Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Early Jerusalem Artichokes

The last time I went over to the allotment plot, I brought home a load of early fuseau Jerusalem artichokes. Most of them looked like little rats with long tails.

In the past I have transformed these artichokes into wonderful dishes such as Jerusalem artichoke and walnut parcels and Jerusalem artichoke crisps. This time round because I had so many, I decided to roast them, mash them with minced parsley, as well as make the weekly soup for lunch.
I am never enamoured at the thought of eating Jerusalem artichokes, but when I actually taste it I am always pleasantly surprised. This Jerusalem artichoke soup has an earthy and nutty flavour. The addition of the spice-mix topping, especially the ginger adds an unexpected freshness.
Artichoke Soup with Ginger and Walnuts
Serves 4–6
Ingredients1 large onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 medium sticks of celery, sliced
½ grated fresh ginger
400g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and chopped into pieces
2 pints of vegetable stock or water
small bunch of parsley, minced
For the spice-mix
1 tsp coriander seed
30g shelled walnuts
30g lump fresh ginger
4 tsp groundnut oil
Method
In a wide pan. cook the onion slices over a low to moderate heat for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. Then add the slices celery, ginger and chopped artichokes to the pan. Stir and then put the lid on so the vegetables sweat and soften without colour, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down so that the soup bubbles gently and partially cover with a lid. It will take about 25 minutes for the artichokes to become truly tender.
For the spice mix: Grind the coriander to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar then add the walnuts, mashing them briefly to a pulp. Peel the ginger and slice it thinly then cut into thin matchsticks. *Warm the oil in then fry the ginger for about 30 seconds till it is golden and crisp. Toss in the crushed walnuts and coriander, let them sizzle briefly, then tip on to kitchen paper.
Blend the soup with a food processor, stir in the chopped parsley and check the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and top with the ginger spice mix. Adapted from Nigel Slater in The Observer.

*I must admit I messed up a bit around the grinding process, I heated the oil a tad too much and it had a tinge of burnt taste to it, plus my ginger wasn’t sliced into delicate matchsticks as required, but that didn’t matter too much. D said it was refreshing to have that ginger kick at the end.

8 comments:

  1. You really know how to get the tastebuds going. I haven't had Jerusalem artichokes in years and I love them. Luckily we've managed to grow some this year, so hopefully I'll be able to tuck into some tasty dishes soon. Really like the idea of this soup with ginger - yum!

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  2. Looks lovely, not anything like the artichokes i used, those ones actually look solid?

    Rose

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  3. Thank you Choclette.
    Once you have jerusalem artichokes, you pretty much have them for life. Enjoy.

    Thanks Rose.

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  4. Oh, now I know! Please forget about my question about jerusalem artichokes. I started reading from the newest post, I didn't know you posted this quick! I still don't think I've seen them before. by the way, the soup looks and sounds very good. I'm wondering if I don't have these artichokes, what kind of veggie I should use, thanks Mangocheeks:)

    p.s. I LOVE to come back to your blog to read all your responses, it's very kind of you, I really appreciate your time:)

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  5. Ooh Oraphan,
    Now your asking. I can't really think of a vegetable that is similar to Jerusaem artichokes - it so nutty in flavour, so all I can say to you is 'wait until you come across them' and soup would probably be the best thing to make with them, especially if you have never had them before. There usually very nobbly and tought to peel, but the variety I grew were a bit smoother.

    Re: posting quick - at the moment I am fortunate to be able to do this pretty much on a daily basis, but I know a time will come when my blogging will reduce, so please lets enjoy it while it lasts.

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  6. Thank you, Mangocheeks. I'll try to find out about them at my local farmer market.:)

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  7. I've never cooked with these though I do like them. I'll have to see if I can find any at the local store.

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