Roast Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

No its not an artichoke and no its not from Jerusalem and before you ask, no its not ginger either! Jerusalem artichokes are the roots of a species of sunflower and are one of my favourite roasted vegetables. When cooked, Jerusalem artichokes have a rich, nutty flavour and soft creamy centre.  When choosing which ones to purchase, look for ones that are clean, firm and unblemished. Store them somewhere cool and dark, as you would a potato, or keep in a brown paper bag in the fridge.  Jerusalem artichokes are beautifully paired with the fragrance of bay leaves and is why this soup recipe is all kinds of yes.

Recipe by Georgia Houston from GH Nutrition
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Serves 10.  I halved the recipe and still had leftovers to put in the freezer for future lunches.

Ingredients
2kg Jerusalem artichokes, unpeeled, halved lengthways
350g golden shallots (about 20), halved lengthways
2 garlic bulbs, halved horizontally
1/4 cup sage
6 thyme sprigs
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
2 litres chicken stock
2 potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
Crisp sage and Jerusalem artichoke chips
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sage leaves
4 Jerusalem artichokes, cut lengthways into thin wedges

To make
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Combine Jerusalem artichokes, shallots, garlic, herbs, lemon rind and juice in a large bowl, season to taste and mix to combine.
Add oil, mix to coat, then spread mixture on oven trays lined with baking paper. Roast, turning occasionally, until golden brown and very tender (35-40 minutes).  Let cool.
When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from skins and then transfer mixture to a large saucepan.
Add stock and potato to pan, bring to the simmer over medium-high heat and cook until potato is falling apart (12-15 minutes). Remove thyme and process with a hand-held blender until very smooth.  If necessary, pass through a sieve into a clean pan (discard solids). Add sherry vinegar, season to taste, keep warm.
For crisp sage and Jerusalem artichokes, heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add sage and cook until crisp (1 minute), remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.
Add Jerusalem artichokes to pan, cook, turning occasionally, until golden and tender (4-5 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon, drain on absorbent paper, season to taste.
Serve soup hot, topped with crisp sage and Jerusalem artichokes.

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