Monday, February 13, 2012

sunchoke and leek soup

Leif and I used to be regulars at our local Farmer's Market every Sunday.  
We went every single weekend, including the week before Clio was born and the weekend after we came home with her.  
We were there as soon as they opened, along with all the actual chefs pulling along their carts full of fresh produce, because by nine it was always a madhouse.  
But we quickly realized that having an infant in the house made it near impossible to get out the door before ten so until last week we were on a Farmer's Market hiatus.

I like to cook but I am not one of those people who can throw something together without a recipe.  Unless it is Kraft Mac N' Cheese.  I know that by heart.  (Pasta in boiling water for 7 minutes.  Drain.  1/4 c butter.  1/4 c milk.  Powdered fluorescent cheese stuffs.  Done.  The most delicious processiest processed food you ever did eat.)  
Which means rarely do I ever stray from my list of ingredients when we go shopping for our weekly menu.

But on this trip I happened to notice a big pile of these nubbly little wonders.

They're called sunchokes, or Jerusalem Artichokes.  They taste like artichoke hearts and are the tubers from a type of sunflowers.  I kid you not.  They are so good.

So I grabbed a couple pounds and two leeks that were laying next to them, thinking that I would make a quick soup for the picnic we were going to have later that day.

For the soup:

2 1/2 pounds of sunchoke (you don't need to peel these, just scrub them well)
2 leeks, chopped (just the white parts)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups fat free chicken broth (or veggie broth for vegetarians)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp fat free sour cream (or marscapone if you aren't afraid of some calories)

Boil chopped sunchokes in water until soft enough to mash.   
While they boil, saute the leeks, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until translucent.  Once the sunchokes are done, drain them, return them to the pot along with the broth and the leeks, onion, and garlic.  Bring to a boil.  Add oregano.  Simmer for five minutes.  
Use an immersion blender (or an alternative) to completely blend the soup.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Lastly, add a tablespoon of sour cream to each bowl before serving (or not, the soup was still tasty without the cream).

Makes 7-8 cups.  Serving size 1 cup.  Weight Watchers points 4 (without the sour cream).

And just because I can't help myself...a photo from our picnic and Clio's first time on a swing.


  1. I want some of your soup...and your weather!

    Clio, you SWEETHEART.


    Cathy in Missouri

  2. ADORE the video!!! Sweet baby girl!

  3. My husband came in yesterday and said a friend brought him something - Jerusalem Artichokes. "They look like ginger," he said.

    I was jumping around & telling him about your post and feeling all happy just thinking about your soup. Maybe we'll have some here.

    You're timely. :)

    Cathy in Missouri

  4. Cathy- let me know what you think. BTW, you can also eat them raw in salads. Someone once told me (or I read?) that sunchokes can be hard to digest for some people but I've never had a problem.