Sunchoke Soup

sunchoke soupSunchokes are like the secret agents of the vegetable world. They go by many names (Jerusalem artichokes – though they are not from Jerusalem nor are they artichokes, sunroots, earth apples, and topinambour) and easily blend in with many vegetables thanks to their mild nature. These tubers are a close relative to the sunflower though they visually resemble the ginger root. Sunchokes are a New World food that was cultivated long before Columbus arrived. It makes sense that they were a staple food in the Native American diet, considering they are an excellent source of potassium, iron, and fiber. While they have a similar consistency to potatoes, sunchokes’ flavor is sweeter with a certain “je ne sais quoi.” They are delicious when roasted or made into chips, but for a weeknight meal, I like to enjoy them as a hearty soup with a fresh salad and some crusty bread.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large shallot, diced
1 pound sunchokes, peeled and cut into smaller pieces
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into smaller pieces
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 sage leaves
water, as needed
salt, to taste
creme fraiche (optional to garnish)


  1. In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil. Lower the heat and add the carrot, celery, and shallot. Sweat until the onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in the fennel seeds, sage, and nutmeg. Allow flavors to meld for a minute or so.
  3. Add sunchokes, potatoes, and vegetable stock. Bring everything to a low simmer. Continue to cook until sunchokes can easily be pierced with a fork.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or use a regular blender and work in small batches). When it has been blended, add any water as needed to thin the soup to a desirable consistency. I like mine fairly thick, so I only added about 3/4 cup of water.
  5. Taste and add salt as needed.
  6. Spoon into serving bowls (this recipe should serve four for dinner) and garnish with creme fraiche or sour cream.

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