Keeping winter blues at bay
Nothing warms the soul on a winter evening quite like a bowl of home-made soup: easy to prepare and economical on the pocket in lean post Christmas times.
Jerusalem Artichokes will never win any vegetable beauty contests, looking like a long knobbly potato. But don't let this put you off as they are a real hidden gem, in season November to March.
The smoky taste is similar to a globe artichoke hence the name but they are unrelated. To enjoy them at their best you should really cook them as soon as possible though they will keep in the bottom of the fridge for a week or so.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
400g Jerusalem Artichoke
1 stick of celery
1 litre of stock
a little veg oil
black pepper & sea salt
Peel and chop the artichokes and then immerse them in a bowl of water to stop them discolouring.
peel and dice the carrots, onion and celery
gently sweat all the vegetables in a little oil for about ten minutes
add the stock ( chicken or veg is best) and simmer until the vegetables are soft usually about 20 minutes
Adjust the seasoning and blend the soup to achieve a smooth texture
Stir in a spoonful of yoghurt and season to taste going easy on the salt.
The Jerusalem Artichoke is a little powerhouse of supportive nutrients and it offers:
Magnesium: an important mineral useful for energy production and natural relaxant that can help with pain relief and enhance positive mood and feeling.
Vitamin C: a prolific antioxidant and antihistamine that can help the immune system, support connective tissue and healthy teeth.
Potassium: this mineral can help to regulate your blood pressure, aid heart and nerve function and help to maintain water balance.
Iron: can be helpful to fight fatigue and aid restful sleep.
Phosphorus: can promote bone growth and health.
Inulin: a fermentable fibre that can aid good bacteria growth in the gut and help digestion.
If the soup doesn't hit the spot, you can cook this versatile vegetable like a potato - either baked, mashed or roasted. It works well in a salad of beetroot, spinach, rocket, chicory and spring onions topped with a little goat's or blue cheese. For a dressing use olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze.