Monday, March 14, 2016

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme Croutons

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme Croutons

We're kind of in that in-between period, weather wise, right now. Warmer days but chilly nights. The tulip buds are starting to pop out of the ground and spring is trying to make an appearance. Every day I scan the trees for signs of cherry blossoms but they're not ready yet. Must be the chilly evenings. And so I felt like making a warming soup but not one that would be overly heavy. And 'almost spring' kind of soup.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme Croutons
Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes are neither from Jerusalem nor are they related to artichokes. They also won't win any beauty contests but they are delicious. Slightly sweeter than a potato but actually not as starchy.

You can do anything with them that you would do with a potato but I did add in one large baking potato to let the starch help thicken the soup. The flavor of the sunchokes is also fairly mild so I gave the soup a little kick with some good smoked cheese and aromatic fresh thyme. It was delicious, comforting and a good way to spend dinnertime while waiting for the cherry blossoms and tulips. Enjoy!



Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme Croutons

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme Croutons
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ingredients (4 - 6 Servings)
    Soup
    • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 Onion, peeled and sliced
    • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
    • 4 Cups low sodium chicken stock
    • 1 Large baking potato, peeled and quartered
    • 6 Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), peeled
    • 2 Cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1 Teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 Teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
    • 1/2 Cup milk
    Croutons
    • 4 Thick slices of good bread (I used sourdough)
    • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 oz. Grated smoked cheddar
    • 1/2 Teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
    Instructions
    Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Smoked Cheddar and Thyme Croutons
    Add the butter and sliced onions to a large soup pot and saute until the onions begin to caramelize slightly. Stir in the flour and whisk in the chicken stock. Add the potato, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic cloves, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

    Puree the soup using either an immersion blender or a regular blender until smooth. Stir in the milk.
    Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

    Brush each slice of bread with the melted butter and sprinkle on the grated smoked cheddar and thyme leaves. Cut into cubes, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12 - 15 minutes until the bread is nicely golden brown. Serve with the warm soup.

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