Cream of Jerusalem artichoke soup

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 lb Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), peeled and cubed
12 oz leeks, washed and finely sliced
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
6-8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup chestnuts, cooked and peeled
1/4 cup firm goat cheese, finely grated
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp coarse seat salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
Juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rapeseed oil

1. In large, heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat, then gently sauté the sunchokes, leeks, potato and onion until soft, about 20 minutes. 
2. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the artichokes can be easily mashed against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.
3. Allow to cool slightly, then purée soup in food processor until smooth. Return to pot.
4. Add cream and season to taste.
1. Purée the chestnuts, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. 
2. Add the parsley and purée again until well chopped. 
3. Add the lemon juice and slowly add the oil until smooth. 
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
5. Drizzle soup with pesto and rapeseed oil. (Store remainder in freezer or refrigerate for up to two weeks.)

The story:
In 2005, my mom and I met my dad and sister in Dublin, after they had finished visiting some 
View of other Hebrides,
just before ascending the In Pinn
sites in England, Germany and Netherlands related to my dad's research. After a few days there, we spent the rest of our holiday in Scotland, where my father's family lived a mere 300 years ago. I had originally wanted to hike the West Highland Way, and although I was soundly overruled on that point, I did manage to coax everyone a bit further east to the Isle of Skye so I could go rock climbing. Though no one joined me in the Black Cuillin, we all loved the island. We stopped for lunch one day at the Three Chimneys, where I had cream of Jerusalem artichoke soup as my first course.

Skye landscape, near the Three Chimneys
A few years later, I searched for a recipe and found one quite similar to this in The Guardian. The original didn't have the chestnut pesto, but it's a fantastic addition. This soup reminds me of the delightful coziness of a misty summer day on Skye. It remains one of my favorite places in the world, and I hope I'll return (and see more of the Hebrides) someday soon. (I loved it so much, I contemplated naming my son Skye - unfortunately, soap opera girls have co-opted that spelling. I still think it might be suitable as a middle name for a future son or daughter.) 

No comments:

Post a Comment