Jerusalem Artichoke, Leek & Fennel Soup

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Consider this recipe my Jerusalem artichoke experiment.

As any scientific experiment, here is my hypothesis:

If this soup tastes good, it shall end up on my blog.

Okay, not the best hypothesis you’ve ever seen but any rate, here goes the blog post.

First off, a word about my little friend, the bulby and awkward Jerusalem artichoke. Ironically, this veggie is unrelated to both Jerusalem and the regular artichoke. In fact, today, your surprise fact of the day is that the Jerusalem artichoke is related to the sunflower. The flowers of the Jerusalem artichoke greatly resemble those of the sunflower. So where did Jerusalem come into play? The Italian word for sunflower is “Girasole” which means turn towards the sun (that should be my middle name). Somewhere along the line, perhaps at a child’s party game of telephone, “girasole” became “Jersalem” (they are phonetically similar, I’ll admit).

As a nutritionist, it is my duty to talk to you about their nutritional value. Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of iron, potassium and fiber and have a low glycemic index and a moderate glycemic load, as opposed to their taste-twin, the potato, thus making them fantastic for those of you seeking out lower-GI alternatives to the potato. Jerusalem artichokes are also a great source of inulin, a prebiotic known to help feed the little guys (a.k.a. probiotics) in your gut and help protect against colon cancer. Prebiotics are known to selectively stimulate growth and activity of healthy bacteria in your intestines. Plus, prebiotics may help with mineral absorption, especiallyΒ calcium. Other foods high in prebiotics include “real artichokes” πŸ˜‰ , chicory root, asparagus, onions and bananas.Β 

You can eat sunchokes raw (uncooked, they will taste like jicama or water chestnuts) or cooked (cooked,Β their taste is akin to that of the potato, albeit nuttier and slightly sweet).Β In this particular recipe, the Jerusalem artichokes confer the creaminess to the soup.

I’ve been a card-carrying member of the Green Tea Fan Club for quite a while now, but consuming green tea through soupΒ was a first for me. Pretty exciting.

Trick to put up your sleeve:Β scout out an assistant to help peel these tricky-shaped root vegetables. Even with the “assistant” I bribed, it took me 45 minute to peel 1 kg of these tubers. So, make sure you’re in no rush when you decide to go on a sunchoke peeling spree.

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This soup is pretty groovy as you’ll soon find out.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of Jerusalem artichokes
  • 2 tbsp. lemon-infused olive oil (or plain olive oil)
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 cups of organic green tea
  • Salt & pepper, to your taste
  • Lemon zest, as topping

Instructions:

  1. Peel sunchokes and add to a bowl of cold water and lemon juice to prevent browning.
  2. Once peeled, add to 6 cups of green tea in a large pot, along with the rosemary. Bring to a boil.
  3. During this time, add olive oil, leek and fennel to a frying pan and heat on low-medium heat, until vegetables are soft.
  4. Add cooked vegetables to green tea broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Blend in a high-speed blender or food processor.
  6. Top with lemon zest and fresh cracked pepper.

Feast away! Yummer yummer in your tummer.

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