Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sunchoke and Cauliflower Soup

I am always game to try new foods, be it offal or just a vegetable I've never tried. Sadly, at the age of 25, I had never had a sunchoke, so when I saw them at the farmer's market I felt it was imperative that pick some up. There isn't the plethora of recipes out there for sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), but I was pleased to come across a wonderful soup recipe in Food and Wine, which I tweaked just a little bit. Although the sunchoke isn't the dominant ingredient in this recipe, its presence gives the soup of depth of flavor that it wouldn't have if made with cauliflower alone. This soup is luxuriously creamy with a bit of zestiness from the artichokes and the perfect introduction to this ingredient, inspiring me to try out even more sunchoke recipes.

Sunchoke and Cauliflower Soup
adapted from Food and Wine
serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small celery rib, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 cup whole milk
1 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
6 ounces sunchokes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 thyme sprig or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. In a large saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the celery and onion and cook over low heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the stock and milk and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add the cauliflower, sunchokes and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the sunchokes are very tender, about 30 minutes; discard the thyme sprig, if using.

2. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth and slightly frothy. (Alternatively, working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth and return the soup to the saucepan). Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Ladle into bowls.

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