Jerusalem artichoke soup

Here we go with yet another simple but nice food from the old cookbook. Jerusalem artichoke is a funny root vegetable. It was a very common one over here before the introduction of potato, and even for a long time (several centuries) after that. Yet during the last 100 years it has been somewhat forgotten, quite likely due to potato being providing a better harvest.

For us and our community garden project, this very rainy summer was a quite a disaster, the amount of potato we were able to raise was far from last year’s huge success. However, this might be mitigated by the jerusalem artichoke which is growing wildly around the area where we have our small plot of land.

So, while harvesting the last batch of our own potatos, we also collected a small bag of jerusalem artichokes. Of course, the logical next step was to find some food from the old books which uses them, and here we go with the soup. It’s simple, tasty, open up for variations according to your own tastes and everything. I just hope you don’t have to buy jerusalem artichokes from the market, or if you have to, I really hope they aren’t as expensive as around here, which is quite ridiculous considering you can find them growing wild here and there…

Hope you enjoy!

Creamy Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

1,5 l vegetable broth
1 l Jerusalem artichokes
2 tbsp margarine
3 tbsp wheat flour
salt, white pepper
1 dl oat or soy cream

Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and put them immediately into cold water to prevent them getting dark. Bring the broth to boil and cook the Jerusalem artichokes until soft. Puré with a blender. Melt the margarine in a pot and sauté the flour in it for a minute. Add some soup, mix well, add more soup, mix again and add the rest of the soup and mix. Slowly boil 10 minutes, stirring often. Add water if the soup looks too thick (the original recipe called for 2,5 l water, but we used 1,5, which was enough). Add cream, season with salt and pepper and heat thoroughly.

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More Mushrooms

A week ago I bought this book.

The title means “Mushrooms and Mushroom Delicacies”. It was printed in 1972 and the prologue says the recipes were made for Finnish taste and use only mushrooms that grow here.

Couple of days ago I found a ton of sheep polypores and decided to try one of the recipes from the book. I accidentally bought soy milk that was mildly flavoured with vanilla and didn’t notice it until I took the dish from the oven. Food was still OK, the vanilla didn’t taste too much, but it would have been better with proper soy or oat milk. Why can’t they print on the milk carton if it can be used for cooking or not? Also there was way too much sauce, I’ve reduced it in the recipe I wrote here, but even 5 dl milk + 2 tbsp flour might be enough. The dish is mild, so I served it with spicier beans.

Jerusalem Artichokes and Mushrooms

500 g Jerusalem artichokes
1 l tasty mushrooms
7,5 dl soy or oat milk
3 tbsp wheat flour
salt
dry bread crumbs
margarine

Peel the artichokes and put them immediately into cold water and keep them there until you’ve peeled all. Boil them in hot water until soft. Saute the mushrooms on dry frying pan until the excess water comes out. Discard the liquid or continue sauteing until it’s evaporated. Grease an oven proof dish with margarine. Put layers of mushrooms and artichokes to the dish. Pour about 1,5-2 dl milk into a bowl and stir the flour in it. Bring the rest of the milk to boil in a pot, remember to stir often, and slowly pour the milk and flour mixture in it. Bring back to boil and season with salt. Pour the sauce to the dish and sprinkle with dry bread crumbs. Put dollops of margarine on top and bake in 200 Celsius degrees for 30 minutes or so.

Seitanic Temptation

In Finland this kind of casseroles are called temptations (kiusaus in Finnish). They are made of potatoes and other things that are cut in sticks. Anchovies and other fish are very common companion for the potatoes, but temptations can also be vegetarian. The temptation we had today was made of root vegetables and it had seitan as a protein source. It was really yummy.

Seitanic Temptation

2 tbsp oil
2 big carrots
1 small rutabaga
1 onion
salt and pepper
0,5 tsp each basil and chervil
pinch of cayenne
6-8 potatoes
8 small Jerusalem artichokes
2 balls basic seitan
2 dl oat cream
0,5 dl water
margarine or oil for greasing the dish

Peel all the vegetables and cut them and seitan in sticks. Heat the oil in a big pan and fry onion, carrots, rutabaga, salt, pepper, cayenne and herbs for few minutes. Add potatoes and after few minutes add Jerusalem artichokes. Last add seitan, fry couple of minutes and pour in the oat cream. Rinse the cream can with 0,5 dl water and put that in the pan too. Grease an oven proof dish and transfer the food into it. Bake covered 45-60 minutes in 200 Celsius degrees.

Potatoes and Jerusalem Artichokes

I like regular mashed potatoes a lot, but sometimes it’s nice to have something different. Today we had mashed potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes, soy patties and pickled cucumbers for dinner. The recipe below makes enough for two people, so double it if you have more eaters.

Mashed Potatoes and Jerusalem Artichokes

10 jerusalem artichokes
12-15 potatoes
water and salt for boiling
1-2 tbsp margarine

Peel the potatoes. Put some water into a pot, bring to boil and season with salt. Add potatoes and let slowly boil while you prepare the Jerusalem artichokes. Put cold water into a bowl. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and put them to the cold water immediately after peeling so they’ll keep their white colour. When they’re all peeled, drain and put to the pot and boil with the potatoes until both are soft. Drain, but save some of the liquid. Mash the potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes, add margarine and about 1 dl saved liquid and stir until mixed.

Barletto

I’m not sure if barletto is a real word, but I use it for a dish that is like risotto, but made of barley instead of rice. I try to avoid cooking with rice for environmental reasons, and barley is usually a great alternative. Sometimes it’s even better. Today I made some barletto with Jerusalem artichokes and served it with soy cutlets and grated carrots.

Jerusalem Artichoke Barletto

1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp oil
2-3 shallots
1 garlic clove
3 dl broken barley
1 dl dry white wine
about 12 dl vegetable broth (or water)
2-3 dl Jerusalem artichoke cubes
1 tsp basil*
2 tsp parsley*
(freshly ground) black pepper
salt if needed

Chop the shallots and mince garlic. Heat the oil and margarine in a pot. When the margarine is melted, add shallots and fry for a minute or two. Then add the garlic and fry one more minute. Next put the barley to the pot and fry few minutes, constantly stirring. Add the wine and cook on low or medium heat, stirring often, until the wine’s been absorbed. Add 1 dl broth and again cook, stirring often, until it’s been absorbed. Keep adding 1-2 dl broth, stirring often and adding more when the previous broth’s been mostly absorbed. When you’ve added about half of the broth, add the Jerusalem artichoke cubes, basil and parsley. Continue adding the broth until the barley and Jerusalem artichokes are soft. Barletto should be moist, but not wet. Add more broth if it looks dry and cook a little longer if it looks wet. Season with freshly ground pepper and taste. Add salt if needed.

*Fresh herbs are always better than the dry ones, so if you have fresh basil and parsley, use 1 tbsp basil and 2 tbsp parsley and add them to barletto at the same time with the salt and pepper.

Getting To Know The Jerusalem Artichoke

Friends of ours gave us a big bag of Jerusalem artichokes, because they had more than they could eat.  I had never cooked Jerusalem artichokes, but after doing some research I was sure they would be great if I baked them with cream and potatoes. So yesterday’s dinner included creamy potatoes & Jerusalem artichokes, pea & sweet potato loaf and cabbage & carrot salad.

maa-artisokka

Creamy Potatoes And Jerusalem Artichokes

500g potaotes
500g Jerusalem artichokes
6 garlic cloves, or to taste
2-3 tbsp oil
2dl oat cream
salt and pepper
margarine or oil for greasing the dish

Fill a bowl with cold water. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and put the peeled ones to the cold water, so they won’t get dark and ugly while you peel the rest of them. Peel the potatoes and garlic cloves. Heat the oil in a large pan. Cut the Jerusalem artichokes, potatoes and garlic cloves to thin slices and fry them in the oil 5-10 minutes or until they start to get soft. (If you don’t have a big enough pan, you can do it in two batches.) Add the cream and season with salt and pepper. Heat throughly and transfer into a greased oven proof dish. Cover with a lid, oven prood plate or aluminium foil and bake in 200 celsius degrees for 45 minutes. You can remove the lid for last 10-15 minutes to get a brown surface.