Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What do I do with THESE?

What do you do with Jerusalem Artichokes? This was recently my dilemma. I had been given a bag of home-grown "sunchokes" by a friend and hadn't the foggiest clue what to do with them, having never had them before.

It wasn't so much a dilemma as it was a challenge, really. I was intrigued - something new to play with. I turned to my trusted cookbooks, but unfortunately found them to be of little help. I emailed friends. They didn't know either.

What was I gonna do next, but turn to the Internet for help?! And lo and behold, a video came forth and gave me soup. Palastine Soup, to be exact. It sounded good. So I made it last night. Very tasty!

Despite their name, Jerusalem artichokes have nothing to do with Jerusalem and aren't even a type of artichoke! Italian settlers in America called the plant girasole, the Italian word for sunflower, because of its resemblance to the garden sunflower (note: both the sunflower and the sunchoke are part of the same genus: Helianthus). Maybe over time the name girasole may have been changed to Jerusalem.

They are knobby little root vegetables that look very similar to ginger. The tubers are sometimes used as a substitute for potatoes. They have a similar consistency and in their raw form have a similar texture, but a sweeter, nuttier flavor. Eaten raw and sliced thinly, they are fit for a salad, as they are typically prepared in the Middle East. Better than boiling them, steaming helps retain their texture. One great way of making them is in soup. Wash and peel your tubers before cutting.

Palastine Soup

1 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
Enough Jerusalem artichokes to make several cups worth of peeled chopped veg
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and white pepper, to taste

Melt butter in a soup pot. Add chopped onion and stir. Add your peeled and chopped artichokes and sweat together with the onion for 5 minutes (do not allow the vegetables to brown). Add broth and simmer for about 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender or whirl in a blender to puree the soup. Return to soup pot, and add 1/4 cup or so of cream. Then add seasonings to taste.

By the time I remembered to take this photo, half the soup had already been consumed.

1 comment :

  1. I can get you more, if you want to try something else


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