Monday, 14 January 2013

Let there be soup!

I love making soups and I'm always surprised that not every home cook regards them as an essential staple in his/her repertoire: they're so easy and quick to make, they're economical and versatile (you can make them super-filling and chunky - or serve them pureed down for a super-smooth, elegant dinner party starter) - but above all they are SO delicious!

One of my all-time favourite vegetables is the Jerusalem artichoke, and I can hardly contain my excitement when these dusky-pink, knobbly tubers hit the greengrocers in November. They have a wonderfully unique flavour and texture: sweet and nutty with a slightly crisp bite... they are truly tantalizing! You can use them like "exotic" potatoes: steamed, roasted, mashed, in a creamy gratin, in salads (boiled or raw) - or in this absolutely wonderful:

Jerusalem artichoke and potato soup

a generous knob of butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
500g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and chopped
250g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1.1 l vegetable or chicken stock (from a cube is fine)

Sweat off the onion, garlic, artichokes and potatoes in a large pan. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for ca 30 mins until tender. Liquidize to a puree and add seasoning to taste. 

This serves 2 for a substantial supper (with bread) or 4 for a starter (or thin it down with some more stock for six). 

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