I received some beautiful sunchokes in my CSA delivery last week that I’ve been meaning to experiment with. This was my first attempt at using this ingredient, so I decided to play it safe by making a soup – it may not have been the best recipe to highlight the sunchokes, but it did create a delicious, creamy, vegan soup.
Before I get into to many recipe details, I should warn you that sunchokes have been known to create some gastrointestinal distress. This is due to the inulin (not to be confused with insulin) content in the vegetable. Our bodies do not contain the digestive enzymes needed to process inulin, which could lead to some gassy situations. We fortunately did not have this problem, which may have been because the soup had simmered for so long. You can read about all the health benefits of inulin here.
Sunchokes are extremely high in iron, calcium (told you milk isn’t the only way to get this), along with B and C vitamins. This vegetable is also well suited for diabetics because of the inulin.
Before I started making the soup, I set some carrots, celery and black peppercorns to simmer to make a quick stock. To make the soup, I peeled and chopped a pound of sunchokes into small cubes and began cooking them in some olive oil along with a bay leaf and dried chili. I then added two rough chopped leeks to the mixture, along with one potato and a can of chick peas. Once the vegetables had softened, I added enough broth to the mix to cover the mixture and allowed the soup to simmer for about 30 minutes. I had time to spare which is why I simmered it on low heat, but I’m sure you could get a decent result on medium high heat within 10 minutes as long as you’re around to stir it. I then turned off the heat, pureed the mixture with my stick blender and then brought the whole mix back up to a boil – before serving, I drizzled some chili oil over the top.
Adding the potato and chick peas to the mix was a great trick to create a creamy soup without any dairy products. The flavor of the soup was absolutely delicious, and the next day, I used the leftover soup to serve on some brown rice with steamed vegetables, which was also fantastic. This dish may not have showcased the sunchokes as much, but it is nice to be able to mix in a new ingredient amongst our usual produce items.