We’re heading into sunchoke season soon! Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunroots or earth apples, these tubers are actually the roots of a sunflower that is native to the U.S. They were cultivated by Native Americans long before Europeans arrived to destroy their lives. Here’s a photo of the sunchoke’s lovely flowers.
Although they’re obviously not artichokes, their uniquely delicious nutty flavor is somewhat similar to that of an artichoke heart. They can be eaten a bunch of ways, including raw, roasted, and steamed. Here’s a pic of the tubers. Beautiful, no…but tasty, yes!
In this recipe, they are combined with slightly spicy green garlic, sweet potatoes (not yams, though you could also use those), and marjoram to make a truly addictive soup. The flavor is kind of hard to describe – it’s nutty, rich, sweet, and savory – but I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!
As long as you have an immersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen gadgets), this soup is pretty simple and quick to prepare. It’s equally good hot and cold and should be eaten topped with a dollop of rich, tangy sour cream (you could also use plain whole milk yogurt.) Served with a nice crusty loaf of bread with plenty of butter and sea salt and a hearty salad, this is a meal in and of itself.
Jerusalem Artichoke & Sweet Potato Soup
* 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1 bunch green garlic (white part only — same as with a leek), washed and sliced
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 5-6 sunchokes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 2 tsps fresh marjoram, washed and chopped
* 3-4 cups vegetable stock
* 1 cup whole milk
* freshly ground black pepper
* sea salt to taste
* sour cream for serving
* 2 tsps olive oil
1. In a medium-sized soup pot, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and green garlic and sautee, stirring often until it has softened.
2. Toss in the sweet potatoes and sunchokes and cook for another 10 or so minutes, stirring every few minutes.
3. Add the broth/stock and the chopped marjoram and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are thoroughly softened, another 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the veggies are soft, use an immersion blender (or a Cuisinart or blender) to blend the soup until it is smooth with no lumps. Thin with the milk if desired and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a few grinds of black pepper.