I made a terrific Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Garlic and Bacon today. Typically this tuber is at the peek of season between October and March. But this is California and we are blessed with seasonal vegetables that often stretch their season out an obscenely long time. I was pleased to see large piles of them still hanging out at the Hollywood Farmers Market today. I thought I better bring some to this blog while they’re still available.
Jerusalem artichokes are nothing like the big green globes that are just starting their season in California right now. They also have nothing to do with Jerusalem. Marketing geniuses have tried to make them more enticing by labeling them Sunchokes. But that’s an equally misguided moniker because Jerusalem Artichokes (Sunchokes) grow underground, never seeing the light of day until they land on the sunny sidewalks of Los Angeles.
One look at them gives away their underworld origins. With their funny shape, nubbly skin, and buff brown color they look nothing like the green globed thistles they seem to have been named after. Well no bother, because they’re very versatile and completely delicious. You’ll love them roasted (try walnut oil) because they cook up meaty– a bit like potatoes nutty cousins. They fry beautifully and you can even eat them raw– they have a sweet crunchiness a lot like jicama. Try them in a slaw and see them swoon.
Jerusalem artichokes are native to North America and are known to botanists as Helianthus tuberosus. They are the tubers of a type of perennial aster that looks like a small sunflower.
Not only are Jerusalem artichokes a versatile ingredient, but they are easy to work with too. They need no peeling, just a good scrub with a stiff vegetable brush. Unlike potatoes, they don’t depend on butter and sour cream to impart them with deep flavor or richness. If you don’t believe me taste this Jerusalem Artichoke Soup. Just one taste though – the rest is for me. GREG
I wish I had seen this recipe before my early experience with this tuber, definitely a cut above, sadly I just didn’t love the recipe I made. I’ll probably give it another go with your recipe, JT would love the bacon and the garlic.
I’m a big fan of these tubers! I have been planning to pick some up at the market tomorrow, and now I have a soup with which to use them!
That sounds like a good soup, Greg. I don’t think i’ve ever even SEEN Jerusalem artichoke before.
Love sunchokes — hate their name. My aunt usually pickles them for me and I eat so many that the acid gives me terrible tummy pains. Never tried cooking/roasting/baking them. This soup is dinner tonight!
Would you believe that I’ve never seen a Jerusalem artichoke for sale either in Florida or where we lived in New England. Too bad for me as your soup sounds good.
I don’t believe I’ve ever had Jerusalem artichokes in a soup. And certainly not a soup with bacon! This looks great — an extremely satisfying dish. Thanks.
I adore Jerusalem artichokes, but they do not love me. Hubby stays faraway when I eat them. He however loves them, so I make them. And I will make this!
I used to love Jerusalem Artichokes but I only would eat them raw. Then I lost interest in them, don’t ask me why. I think its time to try them in a soup like you made or maybe roast them like Cathy did.
I have traveled around the world many times in my nearly 60 years, and have eaten and prepared myriad foods, but have never tried these. I can always count on you Greg, to expand my palate. This sounds wonderful. With bacon and garlic, how can you go wrong ? 🙂
I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the words “Hollywood” and “farmers” next to one another for the first time in my life. I had to take time to think about what my expectations would be. “I’m just growing Jerusalem artichokes until I get my big break.” Or maybe invitation-only farmers markets where some agent is promoting some young guy who he things will be the next Ryan Gosling of the sunchoke world. Regardless, please pass me a bowl of this soup and a half a baguette.