Hello to all after some winter hibernation. Our Winter CSA started up recently, and I am thrilled to be back in the green(s). Oh, and in the tubers. Root veggies, that is. A few weeks ago, my share included some delicious spinach, a lettuce mix, some coveted cilantro, and a green known as mache (a dark green lettuce with a kind of sweet, nutty flavor). We’ve had some awesome salads at my house.
And, 3 lb of Jerusalem artichokes, a.k.a. sunchokes. I’ve never eaten this knobby little tuber before. I half-considered passing it up and just grabbing my greens and heading home. But, my curiosity won out and I decided I’d give them a try. I had to pull out my vegetable bible, The Victory Garden Cookbook. I decided I’d try the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, since the author Marion Morash claims it is her husband Russ’ favorite choke recipe.
A golden opportunity presented itself when all three of my children were elsewhere for a Saturday evening. They are fine eaters, mind you, but Jerusalem artichoke soup is pushing it even for them. I spent no small amount of time peeling those sunchokes, so I was really hoping I could trust Russ on this one and the soup would be a hit with my husband and me.
And, oh my. It was wonderful. Really tasty. The beauty of belonging to a CSA is that often those gardeners spring something new on you – I have to admit I probably wouldn’t have picked up those sunchokes on my own! Now I’m a fan. And if you’re wondering why they call them Jerusalem artichokes, well, according to Marian, they never came from Jerusalem and they aren’t related to the globe artichoke, though they do taste a bit like them.
Coincidentally, I was reading an article called “The Best Antiaging Foods You’re Not Eating Enough of” in the April issue of More Magazine. Guess what was #10? Yep, sunchokes. Apparently, they’re packed with vitamins A and B, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. A win:win. If you’re looking for the next anti-aging big thing (okay, I’m pushing it), here’s the recipe for the soup. Enjoy!
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup (The Victory Garden Cookbook, Marian Morash)
1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes
1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
2 tbsp butter
Wash, peel, and coarsely dice chokes, dropping them into water acidulated with 2 tbsp lemon juice as you prepare them (this keeps the chokes from turning brown). Chop onion, celery, and leek and cook in butter over low to medium heat for 10 minutes, or until softened. Sprinkle on flour and cook, stirring, for 3 – 5 minutes. Add chokes (remove from lemon water right before adding) and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Puree mixture in a blender or processor, and return to saucepan. Add cream and reheat. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste, and serve with a spoonful of sour cream on top.