Chez Luce

Kitchen adventures on Wandsworth Common

Autumn Soup – Jerusalem Artichoke and Roasted Garlic October 6, 2010

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I made this soup quite some time ago, but then left it a few weeks before posting… then another few weeks… and before I knew it, Jerusalem Artichokes were out of season. But their time has come again, I spied some on a market stall lat week so I think that warrants finally posting the recipe!

 

 

I found this recipe on the excellent website The British Larder. The photography on the site is so beautiful that it made me want to make pretty much everything on there (which would prove difficult in the absence of extensive sous-vide equpiment!). However, I came across this Artichoke and Garlic soup which was actually really easy to make.

 

The deeply caremelised and savoury artichokes and onions, combined with the smoky sweetness of the roasted garlic, made for amazing depth of flavour for something so beige! I urge you to try it, you will not be disappointed…

 

 

Jerusalem Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Soup
Adapted from The British Larder

For the Garlic

1 bulb of garlic
1tbs light brown sugar
1tbs water
Maldon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Cut the garlic bulb in half, place the salt and sugar in a small bowl and then dip the cut side of the garlic in the sugar salt mixture.

Place the remaining salt and sugar mix in two heaps on a lined baking tray and divide the water between the two heaps, place the garlic cut side down onto the tray, cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes, if the sugar caramel looks like burning add a drop of water and continue the cooking until the garlic is tender.

Let the roasted garlic cool.

 

For the Soup

500g Jerusalem Artichokes, peeled and sliced
1/2 of roasted garlic bulb, soft pulp only
1 banana shallot, sliced
1tbs unsalted butter
50ml Brandy, Madeira or white wine
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1L vegetable stock
Cream, thyme and olive oil, to serve.

Pop the soft cooled roasted garlic cloves out of the skins, discard the skins. Prepare the Jerusalem artichokes by peeling and slicing them, slice the peeled banana shallot.

Heat a large saucepan with the butter, once the butter starts to foam add the sliced banana shallot, garlic pulp and the sliced Jerusalem artichokes with a little bit of seasoning. Saute until golden brown, the darker the artichokes and onions the deeper and more intense the flavour will be. Season the soup a little at a time to prevent over seasoning.

Once the artichokes and onions are golden to dark brown deglaze the pan with the brandy, cook until the caramelised parts dissolve and the brandy is reduced to a syrup, coating the chokes.

Add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a gentle simmer with a lid covering the pan. Gently simmer the soup for 25 – 30 minutes.

Blend the soup until very smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. I used my thermomix and blended the soup for two minutes at speed 10, the powerful machine made my soup velvety and creamy, the finer the soup is blended the better the flavour, any blender will be equally as good.

Serve piping hot garnished with thyme leaves bashed together with olive oil and salt, and a swirl of cream.

Serves 4/6

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Best. Salad. Ever. December 1, 2009

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Recipe:  Sweet Potato  Salad With Rocket, Bacon, Cheese and Pecans

 

Hello! I had a dinner party this weekend. I cooked all day, the food was delicious, and I couldn’t think of any people I’d rather have around my (coffee) table. Thanks for coming guys!

 

(Dan not pictured)

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Up, up and away! November 27, 2009

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I recently found myself with a little time on my hands, and decided to attempt something a little more adventurous than usual, a cheese soufflé. Well, actually, as this recipe is baked twice it takes all the panic factor out of soufflé-making so it was perfect for a beginner like me!

The basic principle of a cheese souffé is to make a roux sauce, enrich it with egg yolks, and then fold in stiffly whipped egg whites to make the soufflé rise.

Making the roux and folding in the egg whites

The mixture is placed in buttered ramekins and baked until pale gold and risen. Mine rose a little bit unevenly, but with this recipe the soufflés are turned on their heads therefore crushing down most of the first rise.

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Rainy Sunday November 22, 2009

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Recipe: Plum crumble shortbread

It’s a nasty day today.  You know, the kind of day when it rains so much you can hear car alarms being set off. The kind of day when the last thing on your mind is venturing into the gloomy, grey outside world. Luckily, I don’t have to because it’s Sunday, so what better thing to do than bake something warm and golden to bring a bit of cheer into what is otherwise a dismal day!

I bought a punnet of plums last week with the intention of using them just to snack on, but as we are at the end of plum season they were a bit mealy, sour and generally a bit tasteless. So I decided to cook them down to a thick compote and use this for a fruity filling in some shortbread biscuits.

I used a basic shortbread recipe with some cornflour to enhance the crispness of the base.

Butter and sugar for shortbread

As the shortbread and topping are quite sweet, I added some lemon juice and zest to the plums to make the sourness more pronounced, together with a pinch of cinnamon to give the compote a warm autumnal taste. (more…)