When I was a child, my parents introduced me to Jerusalem artichokes but all I can remember from that time is eating them like boiled potatoes. Many moons later, as an adult, I moved to a village just outside Leeds (West Yorkshire) and discovered an organic farm on my doorstep. It was through this that I became reacquainted with the artichokes and started experimenting.
Today was one such occasion. Jerusalem artichokes are ideal for creating a thick, nutty flavoured soup and because of their thickening qualities I wondered if they would do the honours with tomatoes. These I have in abundance from the garden, along with a handful of my very own tubers.
The soup was actually a little too sweet for my liking but I am nonetheless proud of the fact that almost all the ingredients, if not grown at home, were organic and produced within a couple of miles from where I live.
So this is the list:
One onion chopped
A handful of Jerusalem artichokes chopped
A handful of tomatoes chopped
Garlic (I used two cloves) minced
An inch of fresh ginger minced
A nob of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
A handful of basil leaves (well, as many as I could pick from the ailing plant)
First, I melted the butter in the slow cooker, then added the onions to soften. The tomatoes and artichokes went in next and I left them until they too were soft – really until the artichokes were soft, as the tomatoes took no time at all. After a blast with the hand-held blender, I added the basil, salt and pepper, then served with home-made pumpkin bread (and I mean bread, NOT cake).
I didn’t get my daughter to eat the soup (not yet) but she did concede that the bread was as nice as the one we ate at Old Sleningford Farm, where we do voluntary work and learn about permaculture once a month👍.