jerusalem artichoke and leek soup with mussel gremolata

Autumn has arrived with a vengeance and a warming soup seems the perfect sop to the wet and blustery weather. This soup has an intriguing nutty flavour with a slight hint of sweetness. Jerusalem artichokes have a real affinity for fish and shellfish; (think Jerusalem artichoke gratin with kippers and you'll know what I am talking about). Here I used mussels, but I have also served this soup with a gremolata made with finely chopped tinned smoked oysters which seem to accentuate the sweet nut flavours.

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

ingredients:
900g Jerusalem artichokes, well scrubbed, cut in 1cm thick discs
1 x onion, chopped
1 x leek, washed and chopped
1 x garlic clove, finely chopped
1.2 litres vegetable stock (I prefer to use Marigold Bouillon or a Kallo organic stock cube)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 x small knob of butter
2 x bay leaves
black pepper
milk (optional)
chives, finely chopped, to garnish
4 - 5 mussels per person (optional)
fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (if serving with mussels)

directions:
  1. Fry the onions gently in the butter until soft, stirring often (about ten minutes).
  2. Add the leek and garlic, stir gently for two to three minutes.
  3. Add the artichokes, stir for about two minutes.
  4. Add the pepper, bay leaves and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until all the vegetables are soft, (about ten minutes).
  5. Allow to cool a little before blending. 
  6. The soup should be fairly thick but it may be necessary to thin it a little with some milk, water or stock.
  7. Serve sprinkled with finely snipped chives.
  8. If using mussels, allow four to five per person. Put them into a large flat-bottomed saucepan. Turn up the heat and cover. Within five minutes the shells will open and the mussels will be cooked. You MUST discard any that haven’t opened. Put the soup into bowls adding mussels on top and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.
tips:
  • Ensure that you have scrubbed and rinsed the Jerusalem artichokes well. However, there is no need to peel them. Inevitably there will probably be a small amount of grit, so to get around this allow the soup to cool and settle after blending. The grit will sink to the bottom of the saucepan. You can pour off the majority of the soup and strain the last few glugs in a muslin cloth to catch the grit. Personally I don't usually bother as a little bit of earth doesn't seem to have hurt me!
  • Make a gremolata of finely chopped tinned smoked oysters and parsley to sprinkle over the top before serving with a squeeze of lemon juice.

2 comments:

tasteofbeirut said...

this is my idea of using the best of everything! a little comfort soup, the earthy spiciness of gremolata and the smokey briny taste of oysters sound wonderful!

Northern Snippet said...

A lovely warming soup,perfect for this time of year!