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image I must admit that I had never used Jerusalem artichokes (it is also known as sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour) until I moved to France a few months ago. I had missed out on a very versatile and great tasting vegetable. They are in season right now and their presence at the markets, shops, menus piqued my interest and I started testing out some ideas about how to cook them. This one is my favourite so far. But let’s get back to the name first. They actually have nothing at all to do with artichokes and are not even distant relatives. The name came from girasole, the Italian word for sunflowers, which the plant resembles. English speakers thought it sounded like “Jerusalem” (don’t ask me why) and then added artichoke at the end as there is a slight similarity in flavour.

IMG_6420IMG_6419IMG_6421IMG_6427Serves 6

Ingredients:

150 g / 5 oz chorizo
600 g / 20 oz Jerusalem artichokes
300 g / 10 oz chestnuts, canned or jarred
2 shallots
2 golden delicious apples
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
40 g / 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
200 ml / 3/4 cup liquid cream
500 ml / 2 cups chicken stock
50 ml / 1/4 cup port
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Peel and cut the Jerusalem artichokes into small cubes
Peel and dice the shallots and garlic
Melt 1/2 the butter in a large pot over gentle heat
Add the shallots and cook for 10 minutes until they are soft and slightly caramelised
Add the garlic, the thyme and the artichokes and cook another 5 minutes
Add the port, the chestnuts, the chicken stock, salt and pepper
Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes
During this time, heat a sauté pan
Peel and cut the apple into small cubes, mix with the sugar and add to the pan
Add the remaining butter, cook over high heat, stirring constantly until the apples are golden, set aside
Wipe the pan with a paper towel and reheat it
Cut the chorizo into small cubes
Cook it for 5 minutes until crispy
Once the soup is cooked, place it in your blender of food processor and purée it
Add the cream, Check the seasoning and reheat gently – do not allow to boil
Add some bouillon or water if you find it too thick
Pour the soup into 6 bowls
Sprinkle the pieces of chorizo and the apple on top
Finally sprinkle the chopped parsley
Enjoy!

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