Jerusalem artichokes, as we all know, are guaranteed to make you break wind, but this in my book is not a strong enough reason to give this delightful nutty, potato-like vegetables a wide berth. There’s plenty of reasons to scoff these gas-inducing veggies.
Artichokes provide approximately 2 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams, 76% of which comes from inulin. Inulin is a type of ‘prebiotic’ – a fuel that feeds and increases the friendly bacteria in the colon (onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus and chicory root are also rich in inulin).
The Jerusalem artichoke is incredibly nutritious with a one-cup serving supplying you with 18% of your daily potassium requirement, 28% of your iron needs, 30% vitamin B1 and 10% of your requirements for vitamin C. These nutrients can help promote correct nervous system and muscle function as well as help strengthen the immune system.
So if you one of the many people who have been repeatedly sick with the sore throat/chesty cough bug this winter, then nestle down to this sublime healing bowl of sweet pureed artichoke soup (followed by a hot lemon, ginger and honey tea and a long restorative sleep).
Interestingly Artichokes are a member of the sunflower family, which may be why they are called Sunchokes in the States? Does anyone know if that is the case? It's certainly not because they choke you....this velvety smooth soup slips down like a pair of silk knickers!:-)
Artichoke & Hazelnut soup
75g organic butter
extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
1kg of Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and finely sliced.
800ml of whole milk or soya milk (if lactose intolerant)
800ml of water or chicken or vegetable stock
50g toasted hazelnuts, plus extra to serve
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add a dash of olive oil. Add the leek and onion. Cover and sweat until transparent. Add the artichokes and a pinch of rock salt, and cook covered over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, until the artichokes are cooked (but not coloured). Add the milk and water and hazelnuts, then cover with a fitted lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Blitz the soup in a blender and pass through a sieve. Add seasoning to taste.