I have a bad habit of forgetting about soup.
Even through the coldest bits of winter, it does not often occur to me to make a batch. And so I freeze the season right on through with dinners of hard boiled eggs, green salads, and peanut butter scooped directly from the jar into my mouth.
But I caught myself this year. Or, rather, this recipe caught me — and my eye. I had never before cooked with a sunchoke (aka, Jerusalem artichoke), but this root vegetable has often tempted me at Whole Foods. For those who have never tasted a sunchoke, there is something deeply mysterious — almost exotic — about it. Both of the vegetable’s names suggest brightly lit and distant locales, which, at this time of year in Boston, is almost enough for me to grab a produce bag, scoop them up by the pound, and tuck them safely in my shopping cart. But I never did that until I saw this recipe.
Those who have tasted a sunchoke might not know that there is less deliverance in the food than its name promises. It’s still good — quite good — but it doesn’t make or break this recipe if you’re unable to get your hands on them. I’d suggest a combination of turnips, parsnips, and potato, or really any root vegetable you happen to have on hand.
The most important part is the warmth, though. The soupness of the soup. Forget about the sunchoke if you must. But don’t forget about the soup.
More soup recipes on Leaf Parade:
- White Bean Soup with Rosemary and Sage (♥)
- Cream of Zucchini Soup with Chipotle and Roasted Corn (♥)
- A Quick And Simple Black Bean Soup (♥)
Creamy Sunchoke Soup with Brussels Sprouts + Bacon — Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant.
Creamy Sunchoke Soup:
(Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 leeks, chopped
- Sea salt
- 1 pound sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes), scrubbed and cubed
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup milk of your choice (I used whole dairy milk, but almond or coconut would also work)
Brussels Sprouts + Bacon garnish:
(Adapted from Serious Eats)
- 1/4 pound (4 ounces) bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
For the soup:
In a large soup pot, warm the ghee over medium heat. When it’s melted, add the onion and leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the sunchokes and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Then add the bay leaves, stock, and another pinch of salt. Cook on a strong simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the sunchokes are soft.
Remove the soup from the heat. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add the milk and blend again. Salt and pepper as desired.
For the garnish:
In a skillet, cook the bacon pieces on medium low until they are crispy. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Place the Brussels sprout halves halved-side-down in the hot bacon grease and sear for about 3 minutes. After they have seared, continue to saute until they are cooked through. Salt as needed.
Serve the Brussels sprouts and bacon on top of the soup.