When I walk through the shuk I usually think about what I want I need - always garlic and always chili and always onions and always parsley and thyme and cilantro. Often I go with no idea what I am going to cook and I rely on the day's bounty. What products are calling my name - Barb, pick me - and what products look so sad that they need to be used up.
But sometimes I food associate. I see a product and I am immediately transported to an event or a memory. And sometimes, the site of a vegetable makes me think of someone I know. When I see Jerusalem artichokes of think of my friend Marion who loves them.
I didn't cook with Jerusalem artichokes, or sunchokes as they are known in American before I came to Israel. I rarely, in ever saw them on offer and if I had I would not have know what do with them. They are sort of intimidating like celeriac and ginger and turmeric, all roots that are edible but full of dirt and hard to peel. Besides I had rutabaga (my favorites) and parsnips and beets and carrots - a nice orchestra of Tibetan colors. They were beautiful to look at and beautiful to eat. White, pale roots were not appealing.
Shortly after we arrived in the fall of 2012 it was artichoke season (or one of them at least) and everyone was buying them in large quantities. I felt I had to try. My first attempt was disastrous. I couldn't get the mud off. They were too knobby to peel and when I finally succeeded in cleaning them they had turned a nice starchy brown. Over time I figured out how to clean them efficiently and put them in acidulated water to prevent discoloring. I started to use them in stews and curries and latkes and in gratins and soon they became a staple.
So these many years later I am presenting Marion with my new soup inspired by Jerusalem Artichokes. I hope she will make it and enjoy it.
BT's Garlic Chive and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup (Hebrew version to come)
6 medium or 5 large Jerusalem artichokes
3 grams coriander seeds
3 grams mustard seeds
1 serrano chili (optional)
30 mls ghee
2 large bunches garlic chives
2 medium zucchini
2 cloves garlic
2 small very ripe quinces (pears can be substituted in quince is not available)
1 1/2 litres boiling water
60 mls heavy cream
Juice of half a lemon
Seed and devein the chili
Wash and rough cut zucchini
Wash and cut quince into quarters
Wash and rough chop garlic chives
Clean and peel artichokes and reserve in acidulated water
Add ghee to heavy gauge pot
Turn heat on medium. Let ghee heat up
Add coriander seeds and mustard seed to hot ghee
Saute for 1 to 2 minutes until mustard seeds begin to pop
Add chili and continue to cook for 1 minute
Add chopped garlic chives. Reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes or until the chives begin to wilt
Add zucchini and continue cooking for 2 minutes
Reduce heat and add quartered quince
Cook 2 more minutes
Add fresh thyme, pinch of salt and ground pepper
Add boiling water garlic cloves
Bring to boil
Cook for 15 minutes or until artichokes and zucchini are very soft
Remove from heat
Puree soup with hand blender
Add heavy cream
Add lemon juice
Season with salt and pepper if needed
Garnish with any of following: roasted hazelnuts, roasted pistachios, labane, coriander
As with all the recipes it will be also be published later under a Creative Commons License. The attribution is important to me. If you enjoy the soup, let me know and don't forget the shout-out.