I love to try new foods. Even better I love to try new foods that my local farmers have grown. When the Garden Lady (Diann Dirks) announced via email that she was going to have Jerusalem Artichokes (aka sunchokes) at the Rancho Alegra farmer’s market, I was intrigued. I’d never had a sunchoke. I didn’t even know what it looked like.
So I showed up at the farmer’s market on a chilly Saturday morning, got the last bags of fresh salad greens before the bitter cold moved in and killed them all off and picked myself up some sunchokes.
They looked a lot like fresh ginger to me. Once I washed them up some more and gave them a brushing with my mushroom brush they turned from golden to a more subdued peach color. (Still looked like ginger, though.)
Since I’d never eaten one, much less prepared one, I was grateful to The Garden Lady for an informational handout including several recipes. I decided to make the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, a pureed soup which would go well with my greens:
2-3 cloves garlic
1 celery stalk
1 1/2 pounds jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and chopped
1 cup milk
salt and lots of pepper
Pretty much, you chop and saute the veggies for a while, add water and boil for about 15 minutes, put everything in a food processor and puree. Then you add the milk and heat it back up until warm. Season to taste. I ended up adding some thyme because it seemed bland to me, but after I added some more pepper it really started popping. I don’t even think I needed the thyme. It was mellow and soothing. Even test subject Bill had positive comments, which was a suprise.
I served the soup with a salad made from those great greens from Stokes Family Farm with the few fresh radishes I had left from my last CSA delivery for the year. (As an aside, there were a few broccoli leaves and snips of broccoli in with the greens. I will never throw away broccoli leaves again. Please add them to your salads – yum!)
Sunchokes are rich in potassium, iron, thiamine, Vitamin C and fiber. Good stuff. But like lots of good stuff…um…gas. The first time I ate the soup I had no problems. However, the second time (and granted I did eat a lot of it) I could have tooted Jingle Bells. So I would say it’s a great thing in moderation! Don’t eat two big bowls of it unless you’re going to be alone for the rest of the day.
I bought some more sunchokes this past Saturday. I’m contemplating the sunchoke gratin…mmm, cheese 🙂