Seasonal Jerusalem artichokes fresh from the allotment. These little beauties are packed full of a prebiotic called inulin. Prebiotics are types of carbohydrates which our body is unable to digest, so it passes through the digestive tracts which feeds our gut bacteria. If you have a meal full of prebiotics you may feel a little bloated or gassy after, but nothing to worry about, it is just your gut microbiota enjoying their meal after you.
The inulin content of fresh Jerusalem artichokes varies according to the variety, growing conditions and storing conditions. Inulin content has been estimated to at 17-20.5% of fresh tuber weight.
A really easy way to use Jerusalem artichokes is to make them into a soup, the perfect starter to any dinner party which will wow your guests with their deliciously sweet flavour. Most soup recipes tell you to peel Jerusalem artichokes. If you can, try washing them thoroughly with a vegetable scrubber instead. This will save on time (as they can be fiddley to peel!), alongside helping reduce any food waste. The skins also have lots of fibre in them, like any root vegetable, so another good reason to leave them on and maximise on the fibre!
Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a starter
For the soup
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2 sticks of celery, sliced
- 4 cloves or garlic, roughly chopped
- 1kg of Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and cut into 1″ chunks
- 300ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 250ml dry white wine
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 100ml double cream (optional to leave out or use a plant-based alternative)
For the pesto
- 50g skin on almonds
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50g spinach leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Gently cook the onions and celery in the oil in a large pan, allowing them to soften without colouring.
- Add the garlic and artichokes and cook for a further 2 minutes before adding the stock, wine and 600ml of water.
- Add the thyme, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 45 minutes till the artichokes are soft.
- Meanwhile, roast the almonds at 180°C for 10-15 minutes, shaking occasionally, till golden brown. Allow to cool.
- Blend the olive oil, spinach, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tbsp water to a smooth paste.
- Add half the roasted almonds and blend into the chunky pesto consistency.
- Once the artichokes are cooked, remove the thyme stems and blend the soup till as smooth as possible.
- Add the cream, if using.
- Serve in bowls, topped with pesto and the remaining roasted almonds roughly chopped over the top.
Per main serving: 635kcal/ 30.0g fat/ 10.8g saturated fat/ 51.8g carbohydrates/ 6.8g fibre/ 11.6g protein