Jerusalem artichoke soup

Stay swanky: Jerusalem artichoke soup.
Stay swanky: Jerusalem artichoke soup. Photo: Vicki Liley
Difficulty
Easy

These knobbly, underground ugly sisters to the blooms of the true artichoke are harvested from late autumn and have a reputation for causing gale-force wind in some individuals. But - hello, Cinderella - they're a cinch to trick up into what is arguably winter's swankiest soup - subtle, nutty and satin-smooth.

Ingredients

80g butter

1kg jerusalem artichokes

500g potatoes

4 leeks, white parts only, sliced into coins

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

1 lemon

creme fraiche or goat's curd, to serve

Method

1. Peel artichokes, placing them in a bowl of cold water into which you have squeezed a lemon (this inhibits discolouration). Peel potatoes and cut into pieces about the same size as the artichokes. Take a suspicious look at the cut-up leeks for lurking dirt and rinse if necessary.

2. Melt butter over low heat in a large, heavy saucepan and sweat the leeks, covered, until they wilt - don't let them brown. Add potatoes and artichokes and season with salt and pepper. Add stock and enough water to cover the vegetables; simmer until artichokes and potatoes are tender.

3. Puree, adding seasoning and maybe a little more water to thin the soup to taste. If you like, add a spoonful of creme fraiche or goat's curd to each bowl. Leftovers freeze nicely.