Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

SoupGluten-FreeVegetarian

A smooth soup made from jerusalem artichokes, onions, garlic, celery and stock.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

When I was a kid, my mother often used to add sliced raw jerusalem artichokes to our salads. I have no idea why. She doesn’t do it any more, and hasn’t for years.

At the time I just thought they were weird looking and didn’t taste like much. Nothing at all like the real artichokes that we kids fought over at the dinner table. My kid’s mind decided that they didn’t grow very good artichokes in Jerusalem.

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What are Jerusalem Artichokes?

Hah! Well, mystery solved.

Turns out jerusalem artichokes are neither artichokes, nor are they from Jerusalem.

They’re tubers, native of North America, and the plant is related to and resembles sunflowers. (In fact, these days they are often called “sunchokes”.)

“Jerusalem” is thought to have evolved from the Italian name for the plant, “girasole” for sunflower.

Why “artichoke”? If my mom had only cooked them, then that part of the mystery would have been solved for me. Cooked, they taste surprisingly like artichokes. Yum!

A traditional and wonderfully easy way to prepare these chokes is as a soup. If you like the taste of artichokes, I urge you to try your hand at making this soup with jerusalem artichokes. This is lick-the-bowl good.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Sunchoke soup

Word to the wise. Sunchokes are known for … well, how can I say it politely… causing flatulence, especially when raw. In fact, Hank calls them “fartichokes”. (He grows them in his garden, he should know.) He tells me that slow cooking them, like this soup preparation, greatly reduces the problem.

Eh hem, although I’m sure I’m risking telling you Too Much Information, I had no particular gaseous issue with this soup. Thank goodness, because I can’t wait to make it again.

Sunchokes

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 pounds jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 quart chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option, and gluten-free stock if cooking gluten-free)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

1 Sauté the onions, celery, then garlic: Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown them. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt.

2 Add jerusalem artichokes and stock: Add the jerusalem artichokes and the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, until the jerusalem artichokes begin to break down, 45 minutes to an hour.

3 Purée the soup: Using an immersion blender or upright blender, purée the soup. If using an upright blender, fill the blender bowl up only to a third of capacity at a time, if the soup is hot, and hold down the lid while blending. Alternately, you can push the soup through the finest grate on a food mill, or push it through a sturdy sieve. Add salt to taste.

Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper to serve.

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Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Fennel and Creme Fraiche - from La Tartine Gourmande

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

37 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Terri Fierce

    Fabulous soup! I topped mine off with a generous amount of black and cayenne peppers. Jerusalem artichokes are mentioned in Edgar Cayce readings as a remedy for diabetes and author of Medical Medium books claim they protect the liver from illness. Happy, healthy eating!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  2. David Connolly

    I grow my own artichokes mostly for relish, but want to try alternative uses. This recipe looks great. Will make a batch when mine are ready in November. Can it be stored? For how long?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Cindi

    Love this soup. Always add chopped parsley and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Chris

    Sensational! Loved the unique flavour. Goes to the top of my list for impressing guests. Chris

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Kathleen

    Sensational soup. Creamy and rich. Love it

    xxxxxyyyyy

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