Jerusalem Artichoke and Mushroom Soup

By Esther Boateng

A hearty warm soup is perfect for those days when you fancy a light lunch or supper, and don’t want to spend ages cooking. After all, not every day has to be a full-on cooking day. Nourish your mind and body, and tickle your taste buds, without working overtime in the kitchen. Who knows, you might be able to squeeze in some quiet time to reflect on the day ahead while you wait for your vegetables to roast.  

You also have the option to let your vegetables simmer on the stove without going anywhere near an oven. I prefer to coat the vegetables with sufficient butter or oil before I roast them; it gives the soup more flavor than vegetables simmered on the stove. It’s a personal preference. You can use bone broth, stock, or even the water brewed from chaga nuggets, if you happen to have some handy.   

Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes or sunflower chokes, are delicious root vegetables that have a nutty taste similar to water chestnuts. You prepare them like potatoes. If you are not familiar with how they look, you can easily mistake them for ginger. Although this vegetable can be eaten raw, I prefer to eat it cooked to avoid unwanted bouts of flatulence. Besides, it’s a shame to miss out on that amazing creamy texture, which makes them an excellent choice for soups or sunchoke mash.   

One of the drawbacks with sun chokes is the peeling. I once made the mistake of keeping most of the skin intact in an effort to be super healthy. Big mistake. Do not be deceived by their paper-thin skin; it was chewier than I anticipated. Their knobby shape is a little tricky to navigate when peeling, but worth the hassle. And of course, flatulence is another drawback with raw sunchokes. However, if you steam them first, this neutralizes the inulin, the chemical that can cause bloating or gas from the raw vegetable. Apart from these minor drawbacks, I cannot recommend this vegetable highly enough.

 

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