Jerusalem artichoke cream soup with balsamic glazed smoked bacon lardons

I just cooked and ate Jerusalem artichokes for the first time. I always thought thy are just another weird kind of sweet potato that I wouldn’t know how to prepare. I got the idea after I learned they are neither from Jerusalem, nor artichokes, but something that looks like ginger and potatoes had a baby.

Then Norb ordered some with our veg box and I had to learn more about them. Turns out they are called artichoke, because they actually taste remarkably like artichokes, even though they are a kind of tubular, most closely related to the sunflower (that’s why they are often called sunchokes nowadays). And I LOVE the taste of artichokes, it’s one of my favourite tastes ever. My research (googling) also thought me that one of the most common ways to prepare them is to make a soup. I also read somewhere (think it might me Jamie Olivers site) that they go perfect with smoky flavours. I also knew from previous cooking that artichokes and balsamic vinegar are a match made in heaven, so this recipe was born:

sunchoke soup

Jerusalem artichoke cream soup with balsamic glazed smoked bacon lardons 

You’ll need (for approximately 4 people):

  • 2 cups (around 10) peeled and chopped Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots (half a cup), also chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • about 4 cups of broth (chicken, vegetable, whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 thick slices of smoked bacon
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1. Heat the oil and add the onion, carrots and celery. Saute for 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the Jerusalem artichokes.

3. Cover with broth and cook on medium low for about 25 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft. The soup should simmer, not boil.

4. When the soup needs no more supervision, start preparing the lardons. Heat a cast iron pan (or a non-stick one, but you should really think about investing into a cast iron pan:)).

5. Cube the bacon into small pieces (around 1/3 of an inch, half a cm) and add it to the pan. Add the balsamic vinegar and mix well. Lower the temperature to medium or medim low and cook untill the bacon is crisp (around 15 minutes). Mix often, so it doesn’t burn.

6.Blend the soup and add a bit more liquid (broth) if it’s too thick.

7. Serve together with the lardons and dober tek!

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