Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Mushrooms & Watercress Recipe

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Mushrooms & Watercress Recipe

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Mushrooms & Watercress Recipe

Ingredients
  • 600g (1⅓ pounds) of jerusalem artichoke
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g (1/2 pound) waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm (3/4 inch) cubes
  • 750mls (3 cups) vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup watercress
  • thyme leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Instructions
  1. Scrub the artichokes to remove any dirt. It’s up to you whether you peel them. I’ve made this soup with peeled and unpeeled artichoke and prefer the artichoke to be peeled both from a colour perspective and flavourwise as the peeled artichoke is less bitter. Chop the artichoke into 2 cm, 3 inch cubes.
  2. Place 2 tbs of olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and add the onions. Season the onions with salt, and cook, slowly, until soft. Don’t rush the onions by turning up the heat as the slow cooked onions are much sweeter and more flavourful.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add the artichoke and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes before adding the vegetable stock. Season and bring to a simmer. Cook until the potato and artichoke is tender.
  4. I prefer the silky smoothness that blended soups have, so I leave my soup to cool for 20 minutes before blending. If you don’t have a blender, or don’t want to wait, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Check the seasonings and adjust as necessary. Keep warm while you cook the mushrooms.
  5. Place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add 1tbs olive oil. Add half the mushrooms, making sure they are not overlapping, and fry on each side for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly golden before turning. Season with salt and pepper just before removing from the pan. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
  6. To serve divide the soup between serving bowls and top with mushrooms and watercress. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of thyme leaves.

Artichoke Soup

INGREDIENTS

The hearts from 5 large artichokes
5 Tbsp butter, divided
1 medium size leek, white-and-light green parts only, sliced and rinsed
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped shallots (or yellow onion)
8 oz of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
12 cups of  chicken stock (if cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free stock) or vegetable stock (for vegetarian option)
1/2 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs of parsley
1/4 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1/4 cup of cream
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the artichoke hearts. Peel off the leaves from around the artichokes until you get to the thistly choke in the center. 
With a small knife, remove the thistle choke part and discard. Cut or peel away the tough outside skin of the stems and discard.  You can keep one to two inches of the stem on the artichoke heart. Longer stems you can discard. Slice the hearts or chop to a quarter inch thickness.
Melt the butter in a large, thick-bottomed pot on medium heat.  Add the artichoke hears, leek, garlic, and shallots. Cook until tender, but not brown. Add the peeled diced potatoes and the stock. Wrap the herbs (bay leaf, thyme, parsley) and peppercorns in cheesecloth and place in the pot. Increase the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook uncovered, for 1 hour.
After an hour, remove and discard the herbs. Purée the soup and use a rubber spatula to push it through a fine mesh sieve. At this point you can make ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve. When you are ready to serve, heat the soup and stir in the remaining butter and the cream. Season with salt to taste and serve.
Yield: Serves 8.

Spinach and Artichoke Baked Whole Grain Pasta


Ingredients

2 (10-ounce) boxes frozen spinach
Salt
1 pound whole wheat or whole grain penne pasta or macaroni (any short cut pasta)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 (10-ounce) box frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted, halved, pat dry
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons butter
3 slightly rounded tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
5 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Directions


Position the oven rack in center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Defrost the spinach in the microwave. Drain, then dry the spinach out as much as possible by wringing it out in a clean kitchen towel.

Bring a saucepot of water to a boil. Add salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a small skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the shallots and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook until they are lightly brown. Add the wine to deglaze the pan.

While the artichokes and pasta cook, in a saucepot over medium to medium-high heat, add the butter. When melted, whisk in the flour for 1 minute or so, then whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, adjust the seasonings and stir in the Gruyere cheese. Combine the sauce with the spinach, pasta, and artichoke and stir until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and cover with the remaining cheese. Cool and store for a make-ahead meal.

Bake on a baking sheet 45 minutes or until brown and bubbly on top.