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…The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not loved or hated, it had no prayers or curses. –from The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

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Jerusalem artichoke, leek and carrot soup

gold cippolini onions, peeled and diced
carrots, peeled and diced
leeks (white part only), cleaned and thinly sliced
Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed, peeled and diced
unsalted butter
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
chicken stock
light cream
watercress, sauteed in unsalted butter (for garnish)

Saute onions in unsalted butter, add carrots and leeks. Sweat over medium-low heat or until carrots have softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add Jerusalem artichokes, stir. Add chicken stock, lower heat and simmer, partially covered or until artichokes are cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Check seasoning.

Working in batches, ladle soup into a blender and puree on high for 2 minutes. Return soup to pot and add light cream. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check seasoning and serve immediately. Garnish with sauteed watercress.

Mixed heirloom potatoes with sweet cream butter and herbs

4 replies »

  1. That soup looks good (well yeah, the potatoes do too…). I don’t think I’ve ever grappled with OR eaten a Jerusalem artichoke in my life.


  2. Joe —

    Jerusalem artichokes are wonderful. They’re crisp when eaten raw, taste like chestnuts and have a mild, sweet flavor. I really dig them.

    Unfortunately it’s now April and what I’m craving right now is something GREEN. As in asparagus, ramps and sweet peas. Oh to have a bowl of pea soup. Maybe with a ham hock on the side.

    I think I’ll be certifiable if I have to contend with a couple more weeks of root vegetables at the greenmarket.


  3. I like Jerusalem artichokes, but I’m not sure I love them. However, I am now craving watercress soup. I do love watercress.

    As for asparagus, my dad used to grow it. There is nothing like asparagus that comes straight from the garden to the pot. Asparagus, poached in milk, with butter and black pepper was one of my favorite breakfast dishes as a child.


  4. T —

    I had originally planned to do a cold watercress soup but the menu got sidetracked as these things so often do.

    I may visit USGM this weekend. That being said, I have quite a bit of food to get through before the next market basket rolls around.


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