in pursuit of more

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Roasted Sunchoke & Cauliflower Soup

This special soup can only be described in one way: nothing short of heavenly. Heaven because of the ingredients, and heaven because of the romance that surrounded me stumbling into it. I love recipes with stories like this (that might bore you but feel free to skip ahead!). I made this lovely pot of nutritious soup after returning from a lovely little sojourn on my own to visit my parents.

I returned renewed, slightly blissed out, and packing a few goodies I picked up along the way. Amongst those treasures were a few good new books, a copy of this movie on Cuba’s urban gardening legacy, and a small paper bag containing freshly harvested Jerusalem Artichokes, aka Sunchokes, from the folks organic garden. Upon my return, I was catching up on some blog reading and stumbled upon this recipe on Laura’s blog. Before we go any further, I simply have to say that I have become quite smitten with this (new to me) site. Not only is the photography stunning, but Laura’s food philosophy & recipes are also wonderful – and really resonate with me. The fact that she is also Canadian doesn’t hurt either (for this all Canadian gal) 😉 So if you are looking to escape amidst a sea of inspiring words and mouth-watering food photography, head on over to visit The First Mess, you’ll soon see why I just had to share.

But I digress. The soup. Yes the soup! After reading the post, I recalled the cauliflower I’d had hanging in the fridge for several weeks, and my general love for roasted cauliflower in the winter. I started imagining a beautiful marriage of nutty Sunchokes blended in with creamy roasted onions and cauliflower. That week When I received my winter CSA box, what did I find? A small bag of local hazelnuts to use as a topping. The deal was sealed.

My parents jokingly call Sunchokes ‘survival food’, as they grow easily here in the wet West Coast and require little to no attention. My dear mom even said they were annoying her for taking over the rest of her growing space and she wanted to rein them in. Imagine then, that to find these in retailers can be not only tricky, but if you actually do they are generally outrageously priced. So if you can, look to your local grocer or your farmer’s market to seek them out. You will be happy you did. Of course, if you can’t find the Sunchokes, you could also make the original recipe here, or simply carry on with this version sans the unique and flavorful Sunchoke. Warning: they are really, really good. Especially here. I’d love to know if you any of you have experience either growing or cooking with these!

Roasted Sunchoke & Cauliflower Soup | In Pursuit of More

Roasted Sunchoke & Cauliflower Soup:

(1) head cauliflower washed & chopped into florets
(3-4) small potatoes, chopped with skin on (I used German butter potatoes)
(2) large yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
(5-6) medium Jerusalem Artichokes washed & chopped (skins on)
(3) tbsp oil
(3) tsp salt
(1) tbsp lemon juice (about one wedge)
(1) liter vegetable stock
(1) liter cold fresh water

Optional Toppings:

roasted & chopped hazelnuts
chopped fresh herbs (I used basil)
grated fresh parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
reserved pieces of roasted cauliflower & onions

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a large deep roasting pan (a 9/13 lasagna pan or bigger) or two smaller pans. Throw the vegetables into the pan as you prepare them, and once done, toss with (3) tbsp olive oil and the (3) tsp salt. Roast for an entire hour or longer, until the veggies are soft and brown. Be sure to toss them a few times during the roasting time to make sure they brown evenly and get well acquainted with each other. Once ready, add the lemon juice to the still hot vegetables.

Next, blend the cooked vegetables with the stock and water, in 5-6 batches to promote even blending and thorough pureeing – the consistency should be smooth and silky. Transfer the pureed soup batches as they are done to a large soup pot. Once all the soup is blended and ready to heat, gently heat on medium-high heat until hot (careful not to burn). Taste to adjust salt & pepper (this shouldn’t be necessary), and ladle into bowls to serve. Serve with any and all of the above toppings, and enjoy!

Roasted Sunchoke & Cauliflower Soup | In Pursuit of More

Roasted Sunchoke & Cauliflower Soup | In Pursuit of More

34 responses to “Roasted Sunchoke & Cauliflower Soup

  1. You had cauliflower in your fridge for a few weeks?? How??? Teach me! haha

    On a more serious note, this is such a beautiful soup. I have never cooked with sunchokes but this is so gorgeous, I simply must try it!

    Glad to hear you are healthy and happy my dear! xoxo

  2. This looks absolutely wonderful – I want to dive in. I’ll need to hit up the Whole Foods for sunchokes as there is no way in heck these are at my usual grocer’s.

  3. Roasting ingredients for soup ALWAYS takes soup to the next level, but this time my dear, you’ve outdone yourself! I heart sunchokes! They’re hard to find around here, but when I do find them I hoard them! The hazelnuts on top just makes it insane! xx

  4. Oh, Shira. Shira. This looks absolutely heavenly in every way! I love super creamy soups, especially when there’s roasted cauliflower in it. I imagine the sunchokes accent that beautifully! And I love the hazelnuts on top- gorgeous presentation! Wow!

  5. I have never heard of sunchokes before – another new veg for me to look up. Now I’m curious to see if they have them listed in our seed/veg catalogue. Your soup looks delicious!

  6. Shira! I love this so much. Thank your for your kindness, sweet lady. Your addition of sunchokes to the cauli soup is so brilliant. Glad to hear you had a restful and lovely time away seeing your fam too 🙂

    1. Thanks Laura! I knew the minute I laid eyes on your beautiful photos that I had to make it. AMAZING. Thank YOU! xo

  7. Yum Shira, this looks absolutely incredibly delicious 🙂 I LOVE sunchokes and I haven’t had it for such a long time. Love the nutty flavor – and I can just imagine how good this must be!
    Another must-try – so thank you!! XXX
    Are you enjoying the sunshine we are having as much as I am 🙂

    1. Wasn’t the sun spectacular over the weekend Anne? Amazing! Makes the winter feel like nothing 😉
      I hope you get to enjoy this soup!

  8. This looks phenomenal! Thanks so much for posting the recipe (and the gorgeous pictures). I generally cook without salt, oil, or dairy, so I’ll be trying a batch of this using nutritional yeast in lieu of Parmesan and dry roasting the vegetables. Perfect for these last chilly days of winter!

  9. I saw the term sunchokes, and wondered what on earth you were talking about (until I read on…) I have never cooked with Jerusalem artichokes before. With winter heading our way – it’s officially autumn down here – I may have to bookmark this one, especially given it is grain AND dairy-free. Mwah! 🙂

    1. It’s amazing J! These crazy veggies have been around for a while and crazy that they grow so freely — DO try the soup without – it will still be amazing! 🙂

  10. I’ve never even heard of sunchokes!! I would love to try these, along with this soup. Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time back with your family!

  11. I’m like the others…never heard of sunchokes but they sound delicious! This is honestly one of the yummiest, prettiest looking soups I’ve seen. I love the hazelnuts on top…oh my goodness!! One of the best soups I’ve ever had was a roasted cauliflower soup many years back….this I bet is just as tasty!

  12. Hello – I was compelled to leave comments as I made a soup with similar ingredients recently and it was becoming my fav combination as well! My version was much simpler with onion/sunchoke/cauli plus soy milk and miso, just cooked and blended. Roasting must be a great way to add more flavor, and adding hazelnuts is such a great idea, too. Thank you for the recipe!

  13. Shira,
    Your comments about the abundance of sunchokes growing in your Mom’s garden brought a smile to my face, as i am obliged to buy them at the supermarket or green grocer.
    This week i was gifted with a cookbook from the past — an english translation of Fania Lewando’s vegetarian cookbook from her time in the Vilna Ghetto of Poland. Fania was born in Poland, in Wloclawek, the same village where my Mom lived for a few years with her parents. Fania had a restaurant and taught others about the health benefits of vegetarianism and taught others how to prepare food. She was born in 1889 and died in 1941 (as her husband and her tried to escape from the ghetto). Imagine, a contemporary of your great grandparents.
    Her recipe for a soup made with sunchokes is quite simple, due to the basic ingredients at her disposal.
    cook 2 lbs sunchokes in salted water for 20 min.
    drain, push cooked sunchokes through a sieve or food processor.
    add 1 qt milk, 1 tbsp butter, some salt, cook for another 20 min.
    whisk 2 egg yolks, one half cup sour cream together. pour this mixture into the soup and mix well, then serve.
    the ISBN is 9780805243277. i sense the underlying philosophy resonates with you, your Mom and friends/colleagues. we just benefit from many more ingredients to expand the flavors she uses from all sorts of vegetables, fruits, nuts and dairy products.
    there is an entire section explaining how to prepare cutlets from a range of vegetables and pulses.

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