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Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Recipe for Halloween - Trick or Treat?

Updated on June 25, 2015
Jerusalem artichoke soup ready to serve
Jerusalem artichoke soup ready to serve | Source

Jerusalem Artichokes Make a Delicious Autumn and Winter Soup

Every year at about this time of the year, (October - it's nearly Halloween!), I take myself down to the vegetable garden at our B&B in France, Les Trois Chenes, where I tend and crop my Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus also known as topinambour or sunchokes) to make soup. Perfect for a Halloween supper.

I carry my basket and fork to harvest the tubers or a pair of scissors to cut the flowers. The tubers make a wonderful soup and the flowers decorate our dining room in a truly spectacular fashion. What could be better?

Never heard of a Jerusalem artichoke? You're not alone, although this old fashioned vegetable is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Now why is this root just perfect for trick or treat?

Harvest Jerusalem artichokes in winter
Harvest Jerusalem artichokes in winter | Source

What is a Jerusalem Artichoke?

Trick or treat?

Well, what it's not is an artichoke, nor is from Jerusalem! Its Latin name is Helianthus tuberosus, and you'll also find it called the sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour. You won't be surprised to find that it's a member of the sunflower family if you just glance down this article a bit.

The edible part of the plant is the root which look a bit like ginger roots; long and knobbly. They are a fiddle to wash and peel, (trick), but the good news is that peeling isn't obligatory. Try with and without and decide if you can get away without taking the trouble.

You dig up these tasty roots in autumn and winter and they are just gorgeous roasted in the oven, used as potatoes and mixed in with them or made into soups.

Have You Tried Jerusalem artichokes? - Have you taken the plunge?

Have you been bold enough to taste the sunchoke?

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Ingredients for the soup
Ingredients for the soup | Source

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Ingredients

This is what you need:

- 700 g Jerusalem Artichoke

- 500 g Carrots

- 75 g butter

- 1 onion

- A handfull of lardons or bacon chopped into small pieces

- 1 clove garlic finely chopped

- 1 small green chilli chopped and de-seeded

- 100 g cheese (A hard cheese that you can grate like Emmental, Parmesan or Cheddar)

- 1.5 liters stock

- Salt and pepper to taste

- Yoghurt, cream or creme frache to taste

- Parsley or similar to garnish

I cook my soup on a wood burning stove for Halloween ambiance
I cook my soup on a wood burning stove for Halloween ambiance | Source

How to Make Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

This method's a 'Treat'

- Peel and chop the onion, and saute with the bacon in the melted butter until soft and add the garlic.

- Peel and chop the carrots. You can peel the artichoke roots and this keeps the colour of the soup bright, but I clean mine and leave the skin on so that I don't waste the peelings. Having a brush of some sort to scrub the tubers is handy. See video below on how to peel and prepare the tubers

- Chop the artichokes and put into cold, salted water to stop them discolouring.

- Add the carrots, artichokes and chilli to the onion and fry gently until soft.

- Add the cheese and stir.

-Then add the stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil

- Simmer gently until the vegetables are soft.

- Puree until smooth.

How to prepare jerusalem artichokes

Serve with a garnish and swirl of cream (blob of yoghurt in my case)
Serve with a garnish and swirl of cream (blob of yoghurt in my case) | Source

Serve your Artichoke Soup With a Swirl!

Treat yourself to a swirl of cream

Add a swirl of yoghurt or cream and something leafy and colourful, (I've added lamb's lettuce). For Halloween why not make a ghostly face with your cream? Float thinly sliced oranges on top for eyes? Have lots of warm, crusty bread to dip and decorate your table with orange or black napkins. This is where the candles come in and other vegetables make pretty Halloween table decorations too.

Read the FREE on-line Les Trois Chenes Recipe Book here.

Jerusalem artichoke flowers
Jerusalem artichoke flowers | Source

The Jerusalem Artichoke Plant

Treat

The Jerusalem artichoke is a giant of a plant which grows much taller than you. It's also quite a keen competitor so once you have it you'll always have it. Now some might think that is a trick but not me. I love it when plants that I like persist even though I do little or nothing to encourage them! Who wouldn't want a plant you can eat, with flowers to cut and can kill off its own weeds?

Being so tall they are inclined to flop, but you can plant them at the back of the border, if you want them as flowers, or tie them up to keep them standing. Of course, after flowering, you cut them all down for the winter.

The artichoke cut flowers make a lovely autumn display
The artichoke cut flowers make a lovely autumn display | Source

Jerusalem Artichoke Flowers are Like Sunflowers

Great Autumn and Halloween flower arrangements treats

The flowers, as you can see, are glorious. Very like small, fine, sunflowers they bloom in France in late November and early October along with the dahlias and asters. I've put together a display here with Michaelmas daisies, golden rod and dill that I've allowed to go to seed.

Once cut, the artichoke flowers are not very long lived, but as the petals wilt you can pull them off and you're left with interesting button forms that will keep for quite a while.

They bring the sun right into the house and I just love them!

Excellent vegetable recipe books - discover more about unusual vegetables

Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book (At Table)

My All-time Best Vegetable Cookbook - She tells you everything you need to know!

Like so many things in life, hereby hangs a tale! As a struggling art student I used to eke out a living by doing a bit of cleaning for folk and I was given this Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book as a leaving present by my employers when I finally moved on. That was about 30 years ago now and I'm still using it.

Not a huge tome, not hard to read. Organised alphabetically, it describes the vegetables, gives a potted history, tells you how to choose and prepare the vegetables and provides a selection of classic recipes.

What a treat! The perfect gift

What a gift!


My Latest New Love Vegetable Cookbook - I'm just so fickle!

Nigel Slater excels in his ability to produce classy and nutritious dishes with a minimum of fuss and cost. On top of this he is a great story teller. Add gardening to this mix and what do you get? Tender!

Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch

The very best in nutrition is growing your own top notch veg (that way you know that it's good) and then cooking fabulously tasty dishes that are really good for you. A tall order? Well, why not start here - at least it's a great read!

The Sting in the Tail?

Well, Jerusalem Artichokes are not called 'fartichokes' for nothing!

I've sung the praises of the Jerusalem artichoke but there's got to be a catch and, well, it is one blast of a catch! Unfortunately, delicious though this veg is, it will fill you full of wind if you eat too much. I advise you very strongly to use artichokes sparingly, or to flavour potatoes and other vegetables. In my soup I've cut them with carrots, (thus giving the soup a warm colour), but you could experiment with other ingredients.

Image: Joseph Pujol (known as "Le_Petomane" - "the fart maniac") at the concert (ca. 1890). He was a French entertainer famous in Victorian times for being able to break wind at will Courtesy of Wikimedia

On the other hand, what better trick for Halloween?

Buy Jerusalem Artichoke Tubers from Amazon - Sunchokes are dead easy to grow

Jerusalem Artichoke (Organic) 1.5 Pounds
Jerusalem Artichoke (Organic) 1.5 Pounds

Poke 'em in and up they'll come. Simple as that. There are two main problems though. One is that once you have them they are there to stay. The other, in my case at least, is that the dog likes them. I have them planted in my flower garden and Molly (our intrepid hunting hound) will go and dig them up to eat.

 

Trick or Treat? - What's your verdict?

Would you give artichoke soup to:

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© 2011 Barbara Walton

Jerusalem Artichokes - What Are Your Thoughts? - I'd love to hear from you!

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    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      These Jerusalem artichokes (even if they really aren't) look like oversized potatoes or ginger roots. If I don't want to use lardon or bacon, can I just use butter or oil?

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @CHalloran LM: Hi CHalloran. You'll have to grow your own. Plant a couple of tubers ven in a pot or on a bit of no-mans-land and away you go! Links now on the article.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      Thank you all so much for your many likes and comments. It's so kind of you to take the time to visit.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      Definitely have to try this. Sounds very different.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      wow, just knew that there are jerusalem version of artichoke

    • Vikk Simmons profile image

      'Vikk Simmons 5 years ago from Houston

      Nice angle for a Halloween lens. Congratulations on making it to the top 50 in the Happy Halloween contest.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Tastily well done. Congratulations on being a Happy Halloween Contest finalist!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 5 years ago

      Looks delicious! Makes my mouth watery. Want to have some. Sundae ;-)

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      mockingbird999 5 years ago

      Sounds pretty tasty.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Cool lens! Looks yummy! Thanks for adding this to my Recipes, Reviews and Food Collection lens.

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 5 years ago

      This recipe sounds very nice!! Thanks for sharing.

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious - great lens! :)

    • SaintFrantic profile image

      SaintFrantic 5 years ago

      Very tasty recipes.Thanks for sharing

    • CHalloran LM profile image

      CHalloran LM 5 years ago

      I love Jerusalem artichoke but they are so hard to find in stores.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Blackspaniel1: Thanks for visiting, Blackspaniel.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @APackageAtTheDoor: APackageAtTheDoor, many thanks for your kind words!

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @privresearch: Thanks for dropping by, privresearch

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @lasertek lm: Let me know how it turns out lasertek

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Interesting

    • APackageAtTheDoor profile image

      APackageAtTheDoor 5 years ago

      Great lens and really nice photos!

    • privresearch profile image

      privresearch 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      I will try this one.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @PurplePansy LM: Funny that it doesn't flower. Are you sure it's a Jerusalem artichoke? Just is easy to poison self if you get the wrong plant! Good luck and thanks for the comment PurplePansy.

    • PurplePansy LM profile image

      PurplePansy LM 5 years ago

      I have a jerusalem artichoke plant growing in my backyard. My mom gave it to me. It has no flowers though and I haven't tried the roots from it yet. It sounds like it would be really good in soup. I'll have to try it sometime. Thanks for the recipe!

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @anonymous: Very 'windy' in Northern California? Thanks for visit cffutah.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      Great recipe and it does look perfect for Halloween designs. I can just envision a bat in the middle of a bowl of your soup. I think it would look like the harvest moon behind him :)

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @NidhiRajat: Thanks for your kind words, NidhiTajat. Much appreciated.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Sylvestermouse: I must make this recipe at Halloween and decorate accordinly. How would I make the bat black I wonder? Thanks for the ideas Sylvestermouse.

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      NidhiRajat 5 years ago

      perfect lens...

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      In Northern California, near the coastline, there is everything artichokes to eat. Earned a 'thumbs up' from me indeed.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @emmaklarkins: Hi Emma. Thanks for visiting. I've added an Amazon link to Jerusalem artichoke tubers if you can't find any near you. Added as an angel below as well.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 5 years ago

      Very interesting! I love trying new vegetables, I'll have to see if I can find this somewhere!

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Scarlettohairy: You must try them. Great to have flowers and veg on same plant.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @termit_bronx: Hi termit_bronx, it is delicious! (With built-in punishment for over-indulgence). Thanks for dropping by.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I'd heard of these guys but never eaten "fartichokes." haha!

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      termit_bronx 5 years ago

      I love vegetables, so this is probably delicious!

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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @AlleyCatLane: AlleyCatLane! Caroline, you did get a recipe! (didn't you see the 'Jerusalem' bit??

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious. Learned something new too. I thought I was going to get an artichoke recipe.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Dianne Loomos: Many thanks for the visit and for blessing my lens Stargazer00. So pleased you liked it.

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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @traveller27: Aw, thanks Heidi.

    • BLouw profile image
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      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @iWriteaLot: They are certainly not only found here! You can find them in the UK and I'm sure you can order them over the internet (I'll add some links now!). You can buy them as vegetables and plant them. Good luck with them!)

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 5 years ago

      The recipe sounds great and I love your unique approach to a recipe lens.

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      Informative - and a few chuckles, too. Great lens!

    • iWriteaLot profile image

      iWriteaLot 5 years ago

      Very interesting. Are these found only in Les Trois Chenes? I think it would be fun to plant something that produces pretty flowers AND something you can eat. I'll have to see if I can find this around Kentucky.