Alright, I’m going to throw it out there, I think I’ve finally found a vegetable I am really not a fan of. I know, quelle surprise! I know some people can’t get enough of these – as in the root vegetable that is the Jerusalem artichoke, but I’m really having a hard time falling in love with it. I think because it’s not an ingredient I use a whole load, or know much about, other than that it’s GREAT for the gut, so naturally, it seems like it should be a good one to get to grips with right?

Monday morning came around, my usual 7am Abel and Cole delivery came, which by the way, I am totally digging. It has changed my life – ok maybe no changed my life, but I am a mass planner an organiser, so this basically just complements my skills. I decided to give the Jerusalem artichoke another chance, as I love normal artichokes and recently ate a dish out at one of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants – The Begging Bowl (you need to go here, like, I’m giving you an order).. and they made a divine spicy peanut/satay type dish with Jerusalem artichokes. When I say divine, I really mean it, so much so, we ordered another one, despite being full to the brim. So there I was, a bag of artichokes to play with but no ideas springing to mind, because to be honest, other than that dish, I had no idea on their true flavour or texture. I decided to roast them, with all the herbs, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. They were ok, nothing special, nothing that would make me want to make them again, you know?

After a good hour of googling and traipsing the internet for inspiration, it seemed that most people included them in soups, along with a bunch of other root vegetables and of course, lots of herbs and spices. After a little playing around, well twice actually (which I’m pretty proud of), I whipped up a cosy, creamy, all the winter vibes soup. Not just any kind of soup either, I chunky with everything on-top kinda’ soup – you know me, I like to load my dishes. I also feel that if I’m going to have soup for dinner, it needs a bit more substance, not fully blended with some chunks in there, served with a side of fresh sourdough (I am a sucker for sourdough, obvs) and of course, all of the necessary fixings/decor. I’ve recently felt very inspired by a lot of food styling and photography around me, but feel I lack in a good basic background. I have a tray that I use, and very fond of I will add, but it’s quite small, so often I’m faced with a lot of similar images – bar the dish looking different that is! Anywho, you know what I’m like, I’m beginning to ramble and on a tight dead to get to the post office, so, without further ado, the winter soup of dreams!

What you’ll need: Serves 2-3

1 shallot or small white onion – finely chopped
Large knob ginger – peeled, grated/minced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1.5 cups baking potatoes – washed, skins on, bite sized chunks
1.5 cups Jerusalem artichokes – washed, skins on, bite sized chunks
2 heaped cups cauliflower – small florets
3-4 cups water + 1 low salt stock cube
1 leek – diced
1 tbsp miso – yellow or brown
2 tbsp coconut aminos
4 tsp oregano
4 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp rosemary
5 medium button mushrooms – chopped
4/5 kale stalks – stems removed, roughly chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
4 tbsp plant based milk – I used oat

Optional toppings/sides:
Coconut yoghurt
Toasted seeds or savoury granola
Sprouts/any other greens
Lemon wedge

What to do:

1. To start, add your shallot to a pan and sauté/sweat in a dash of water. Once a little softer, add your minced garlic and ginger.
2. Next prepare your vegetables. Wash and chop your potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes and cauliflower – chopping into bite sized chunks. I like to leave the skins on, but if you prefer to remove, you can do that here.
3. Add the vegetables to the pan and sauté for a minute or so with the onions – adding a dash more water if needed.
4. Add your water, stock and leek, stir well. Add the miso paste, coconut aminos and dried herbs. Bring to the boil and then back down to a simmer to allow the vegetables to cook through. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Once the vegetables have cooked through (usually 10-12 minutes), add your mushrooms and allow to cook through for a further few minutes.
6. Add the nutritional yeast and milk and stir. Using a slotted spoon or ladle, remove around 1/3 of the vegetables from the pot and place in a bowl to one side.
7. Using a hand stick blender, blitz the rest of the soup until thick and creamy. Add back in the vegetables you removed along with the chopped kale. Bring back to the boil and let the kale cook – season to taste if necessary.
8. To serve, ladle into bowls, top with a dollop of coconut yoghurt, a sprinkle of toasted seeds/savoury granola and any other greens you fancy. Don’t forget the slice of sourdough bread and you’re good to go.

Notes: You could sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top too for an extra ‘cheesyness’ to the dish. This dish will serve 3 depending on the portion sizes and optional sides.

I have to say, I was very impressed with this soup and having really not been into the ol’ Jerusalem artichokes, it’s safe to say this will probably become a seasonal staple. Jerusalem artichokes are so good for you, promote great gut health so along with all of the other ingredients, a very well balanced delicious dish!