Roasted Sunchoke Soup with Caramelized Pears

27 Feb

Although sunchokes are originally from America, French explorer Samuel de Champlain brought from Cape Cod to Europe in the 17th century, so they’ve grown in Britain for some time. They’re sometimes called Jerusalem artichokes or earth apples, and are tubers that look a bit like ginger (see above). In this soup, I roast the sunchokes for a sweeter flavor that brings out the earthiness.

One thing to keep in mind – when you’re preparing the sunchokes, if you peel them, they’ll oxidize and turn pinkish. You can avoid that if you pop them in water with a splash of lemon juice once you’ve peeled them.

Roasted Sunchoke Soup with Caramelized Pears

5 Servings

3 1/3 pounds sunchokes, carefully scrubbed
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon drippings or vegetable oil
Vegetable broth
1 splash Sherry vinegar

For each serving:
1/4 strip bacon, small diced
1/8 Bosc pear, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine the sunchokes, salt and pepper and vegetable oil or drippings. Toss thoroughly and turn the mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven until tender, then remove from the oven. I like to keep the skin on my sunchokes – if you do this, you’ll need to make sure the skin is very, very clean before roasting. If you prefer to peel the sunchokes, do it now (the soup will be a little paler if you peel them). Turn the roasted sunchokes into a food processor in 2 batches and blend to a purée. Add vegetable broth as necessary to help blending, and finally, add the splash of Sherry vinegar. Render the bacon, reserving the drippings for another recipe. Add the pear slices to the pan and brown them on both sides. Serve the soup topped with the pear and bacon


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