I really love the taste of these scrumptious little tubers. Sweet, fragrant, nutty in flavor, and delicate in texture. They were first cultivated by the Native Americans (way before this new vegetable was introduced to Europeans). Italians call it girasole – sunflower. And indeed, it is a type of sunflower. It is believed that the name Jerusalem artichoke came from the way of southern Italian pronunciation – [ʤiraː’zul]. There is no real connection to the ancient city of Jerusalem (but who knows!).
Sunchokes (another name for Jerusalem artichokes) have a lot of health benefits. The phyto-nutrient profile is comprised of fiber (non-starchy carbohydrates), antioxidants, minerals (potassium, copper and iron), and vitamins C, A, E and B-group. It is a very healthy and tasty vegetable to eat!
Now let’s make the soup.
1.5 lbs sunchokes (pealed and cut)
1 medium onion (chopped) – save a small amount of finely chopped onion for serving
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
4 c veggie broth (+ extra if needed)
2 tbsp vegan butter (or oil of choice)
1/4 c raw hazelnuts
1/4 tsp dry oregano
sea salt, crushed black pepper to taste
balsamic vinegar & fine olive oil for garnish
In a soup pot sauté onion and garlic in vegan butter (oil) for couple of minutes without browning. Add veggie broth and sunchokes and let simmer on medium-low heat for about 25-30 min or until sunchokes are soft.
In a mean time we are going to roast hazelnuts. Heat up a pan on a med-high heat. Without adding any oil roast the nuts until skins start coming off. Always shake the pan so no hazelnuts would get burnt. This should take a few minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool off. When nuts are cool to touch chop them and set aside.
Once soup is ready move it to a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add salt if needed. Add more warm broth if the texture is too thick.
For serving, place on the bottom of a bowl little pinch of raw onion, and a generous spoonful of hazelnuts. Pour soup on top. Sprinkle with black pepper, oregano, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!