“A whizzpopper!” cried the BFG, beaming at her. “Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?”
― Roald Dahl, ‘The BFG’
Apparently, Jerusalem artichokes have a tendency to make human beans let off whizzpoppers. Which, if you believe the BFG, surely must mean they make you happy?
Back in August 2014 I shared a recipe for Simone Miller’s (of ZenBelly fame) Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Rosemary Salt. So very, very good. It was my very first foray into cooking with this magical wee tuber and it has been a firm favourite ever since.
I love their nutty, earthy flavour – especially in the depths of winter. And, in case you aren’t in my neck of the woods, Sydney is in the middle of a cold snap!
Are these artichokes from Jerusalem?
The name Jerusalem artichoke is actually quite the misnomer. These sexy-ugly little tubers have absolutely nothing to do with Jerusalem. Nor are they even a member of the artichoke family. Rather, they are the root of the sunflower plant, which is why they are also known in some parts of the world as sun chokes. A little bit of trivia for your day!
When you first come across the Jerusalem artichoke, you may wonder just how to prepare them…? Just scrub ’em clean – there’s no need to peel them. But, in the event you do feel the need to peel them – and in this case, I advocate using a teaspoon just as you do with ginger – drop them into water with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar until you’re ready to use them. The flesh turns brown very quickly.
It also pays to keep an eye on them while they’re cooking as they can turn mushy quite quickly.
This little soup number is sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party when dressed up with a little julienned apple and it’s simple enough to have on hand for emergency soup lunch rations.
I reckon it’s a winner!
- 500g (approx.) Jerusalem artichokes (sun chokes), scrubbed
- 500g (approx.) parsnips, peeled
- 2 tablespoons happy fat (I use duck fat)
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1.25 litres bone broth
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- freshly grated zest of ½ a lemon
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- extra virgin olive oil for garnish
- Heat your oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
- Roughly chop your Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips. Pop them onto the lined baking tray. Melt one tablespoon of your fat and drizzle over the vegetables. Add fresh thyme sprigs and a generous sprinkle of salt. Roast until golden, about 40-45 minutes.
- While the root vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining happy fat in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add bone broth and bring to a simmer.
- When the root vegetables are ready, add to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat. Remove the thyme stalks and discard.
- Add coconut cream, lemon juice and zest. Blend until smooth in batches. Season to taste and garnish with a little olive oil.
E N J O Y !
This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable.