Happy Monday to all from rainy Milan! Now that the days are dark pretty much 80% of the time I think it’s appropriate for me to post a soup recipe. I’ve never been a huge fan of soups in general, they feel like baby food to me, but they’re warming and easy to make. I think the secret is to pack soups with lots of flavors otherwise I really feel like I’m just drinking my food, haha.
I discovered Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes/topinambours/sunroot tubers just 2-3 years ago and had no idea they were cultivated in Italy as well.
Did you know? What we eat are the tubers of a species of sunflower! Topinambours are a root vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. If eaten raw (never tried) they are rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium among others, have a low glycemic index and help boost our immune system. When cooked they lose some of their nutrients but gain some more fiber. I definitely need to try them raw!
Despite their common name Jerusalem artichokes, they are neither related to Jerusalem nor to artichokes, although the taste is similar (they are quite sweet). They are native to North America. Native Americans made large use of them long before the arrival of Europeans; when these came and learnt of this persistent crop, they immediately shipped some to Europe where these roots have been cultivated for centuries now.
This velvety soup is super easy to prepare and makes for a great appetizer or main dish. You can sub thyme for rosemary but please use fresh herbs!!
TOPINAMBUR/SUNCHOKE AND POTATO VELVET SOUP WITH NUTS AND FRESH THYME // vegan
by Marta Giaccone
prep time: 10 mins, cook time: 35 mins, total time: 45 mins
500 gr (about 3 medium to large) potatoes
500 gr (about 5 big pieces) topinambur
1 large onion
6 cups vegetable stock
½ cup toasted walnuts
a few sprigs of fresh thyme (or rosemary)
- Wash, peel and chop potatoes and topinambur.
- Chop onion. In a large pot, heat two tbsp olive oil and sauté onion, covered.
- After about 5 minutes, when golden and translucent, add potatoes and topinambur. Mix for just a minute.
- Add 2 cups of vegetable stock, stir and cover. Keep adding vegetable broth one cup at a time when you see that the liquid has been absorbed (I used 5 cups in total but you may need more).
- After about 20-30 minutes prick with a fork and check if the potatoes are soft. Depending on how thick you want the soup to be, add more broth if desired, then remove from stove, add half of the walnuts and puree with an immersion blender. Taste and add salt to taste.
- Serve in bowls and sprinkle with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh thyme, chopped nuts and pepper to taste.