Sunchoke? Jerusalem Article? Huh?

When we received sunchokes (or Jerusalem artichokes, as they are also known) in an all-local bin from Pure Sprouts, I wasn’t quite sure what to with them. I had never heard of them before, and I can’t say they looked like anything particularly special. They looked a bit like ginger root, with a slightly pink hue. To learn a little more about it, I pulled out my go-to veggie guide From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce. (If you ever plan on cooking a vegetable, buy this book. It tells you the background, how to grow, storage, cooking tips, flavor profile, and recipes for pretty much anything)

This is a tidbit of what I learned:

  • A Jerusalem Artichoke has nothing to do with Jerusalem or artichokes.
  • It is the root tuber of a wild sunflower and is native to North America.
  • Harvest begins in late fall and lasts through light frost.
  • The flavor is very adaptable and is mild, sweet and nutlike.
  • They are great sources of iron and niacin and actually lower blood sugar, so they are recommended for diabetics.
  • Sunchokes can be eaten raw or cooked, peeled or not.
  • You can sauté, stir fry, steam, simmer, bake or boil them. (Mash them for a change from mashed potatoes!)
  • Store them in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. For long term storage, bury them in sand in a cold but not freezing environment.

After reading up on the sunchoke, I decided to turn my stock of them into a soup, combined with carrots and rutabagas. To “hearty up” the soup for Kevin, I made some smoked turkey croquettes to serve in the soup. It was a great addition, but this soup is fantastic on its own, too!

P.S. This soup is very inexpensive to make!

Sunchoke Soup with Smoked Turkey Croquettes

Sunchoke Soup with Smoked Turkey Croquettes

Sunchoke, Carrot & Rutabaga Soup (with optional Smoked Turkey Croquettes)

Soup Ingredients:

Soup Ingredients

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 onion (Jett’s Natural Produce)
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 2 tsp thyme (my garden)
  • 1 beer (someone had left this Amstel at our house—It worked well in this soup!)
  • 2 medium rutabagas (Pure Sprouts)
  • 7 sunchokes/Jerusalem artichokes (mine were each about 3 inches long by 1.5-2 inches thick) (Pure Sprouts)
  • 7 small-medium carrots (Pure Sprouts)
  • 2 c. stock or broth (we used homemade smoked turkey stock)
  • Smoked Turkey Croquettes, optional (recipe follows)

Soup Directions:

  1. Slice onion and cook in a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until starting to soften.
  2. Add thyme and cook until fragrant.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1/3 of the beer. Cook and stir until beer is almost gone. Continue adding beer a third at a time, cooking and stirring, until onions are caramelized.
  4. Peel and dice rutabagas, sunchokes and carrots, and add them to the pot.
  5. Add another drizzle of olive oil and sauté for a few minutes, until edges of root vegetables are just starting to turn golden.

    Veggies Sautéeing

    Veggies Sautéeing

  6. Add stock or broth and bring to a boil.

    Simmering

    Simmering

  7. Simmer 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and falling apart.
  8. Use an immersion blender, or work in batches in a regular blender, to purée the soup.
  9. If adding smoked turkey croquettes (recipe follows), place a few in center of bowl. Ladle soup around croquettes.

Smoked Turkey Croquettes

Croquette Ingredients:

Croquette Ingredients

Croquette Ingredients

Croquette Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Mince onion in food processor.
  3. Add smoked turkey and pulse until finely ground.

    Chopped Turkey & Onion

    Chopped Turkey & Onion

  4. Add sweet potato and thyme and process until smooth.
  5. Form turkey and potato mixture into slightly flattened patties about 2 inches wide by about 1 inch thick.

    Unbreaded Croquettes

    Unbreaded Croquettes

  6. Crush pretzels into medium crumbs and spread on a plate.
  7. Press croquettes into pretzel crumbs.
  8. Place on greased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  10. Serve with sunchoke soup!
Sunchoke Soup with Smoked Turkey Croquettes

Sunchoke Soup with Smoked Turkey Croquettes

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