Smokey Sunchoke Soup
Updated: Jan 28
(vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free)
Jerusalem artichokes (commonly known as "Sunchokes") are a fascinating and fantastic tuber. Delicious and versatile, they contain more prebiotic fiber than almost any other plant. Aside from a hint of artichoke flavor, they have little or nothing to do with Jerusalem or artichokes, and in fact come from the sunflower family, hence the name "sun + choke".
Hailed for a long list of health benefits, the sunchoke is probably best known for its hefty amount of prebiotic fiber - called inulin - which is not digested or absorbed but helps feed beneficial gut bacteria. For someone with a balanced gut biome, this could be a windfall, notwithstanding the fact that sunchokes also contain important micronutrients, including a hefty amount of iron (1 cup contains nearly 30% of our daily requirement), and potassium (nearly 20%). If, however, your gut microbiome is out-of-balance and suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), or any other digestive disorder, you may need to consider how to consume this fabulous tuber or you may experience digestive discomfort.
Fair Warning: Also known as the "Fartichoke," these prebiotic-rich tubers can result in uncomfortable gas and bloating. To minimize this unwanted effect,
we suggest a few simple tricks:
1) Soak and clean your sunchokes in water with lemon or apple cider vinegar. Adding an acid has shown to help reduce the inulin effect. You may also consider adding a piece of kombu to the soaking water. Sea vegetables add minerals that support digestion. You can also add a good sprinkle of Kelp granules to the cooking mixture.
2) Add easy-to-digest ingredients. Here, we have added fennel & turmeric, known to help reduce gas and bloat. You could also enjoy a warm cup of ginger tea along with your soup. This may also help prevent unwanted side effects.
3) Pay attention to portion! According to some experts, inulin becomes a problem when you consume too much of it. Consider that our daily requirement of fiber No wonder, if just 3 ounces of sunchoke contains 25 grams of fiber.
4) Cook and blend your sunchokes. As in this recipe, cooking and blending will help to make this fiber-rich dish easier to digest since these steps incorporate some pre-digestion.
5) Consider your bio-individuality. No two people are the same and if you're consuming a Standard American Diet (the kind you get at most convenience stores), you may only be getting 10-15 grams of fiber per day, which is well below the recommended daily requirement of 21-38 grams. If you all of a sudden go and consume a single meal with this much fiber, you will surely set your gut into shock. And if you are on a fiber-rich diet already, you may have an individual condition that requires a unique portion of fiber, possibly more or less than the RDA.
6) Watch how you eat. Little habits like not chewing your food enough or talking with food in your mouth can contribute to gas and bloating. Focus on eating without distraction, chewing each bite at least 20 times (yes, for soup!), and keep conversations calm and light. See if you notice a difference.
Sunchokes are knobby and grown in soil which makes them a bit more challenging to clean. Trust me, this is the most difficult part of creating this soup (and it's not that difficult). Soak for 10 minutes, or up to one hour), rinse, separate the knobs and scrub with a good potato scrubber. At this point you may need another soak/rinse because you've found hidden dirt (no one wants dirt in their soup!):
After a second, or even third soak, your sunchokes should be clean and ready for chopping! We prefer to leave the skins on for maximum nutrient benefits:
In any case, we hope you'll give this one a try. I guarantee it's worth it!
For this easy, delicious recipe, all you need is a few ingredients:
- Jerusalem artichokes ("sunchokes")
- shallot (sub sweet onion)
- vegetable broth (sub water or organic chicken)
- plant milk (prefer cashew or almond with this)
- nutritional yeast
- smoked paprika
- salt & peppa
- optional garnishes (fresh parsley, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, etc.)
Smokey Sunchoke Soup (gf, df, v)
Makes ~ 2 quarts (~10 servings)
Prep time: 50 minutes
· 1 1/2 lb. Jerusalem artichokes (aka "sunchokes"), soaked and scrubbed well
· 1 leek, cleaned and trimmed, white and light green parts chopped
· 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
· 2 shallots, diced (about 1/3 cup), can sub sweet onion
· 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped (~ 1/2 cup)
· 2 cups organic vegetable broth (sub water)
· 2 cups filtered water
· 1 cup plant milk (cashew or almond milk work best)
· 2 TB fresh lemon juice
· 2 TB nutritional yeast
· 1 tsp smoked paprika
· 1/2 tsp turmeric
· 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt (can sub a portion for smoked salt)
· ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
· Optional garnishes: reserved sunchoke mixture, chopped fresh parsley, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, extra lemon and/or sprinkle paprika
1. Soak and scrub the sunchokes thoroughly to remove all the dirt. Once clean, chop roughly and rinse again if needed. Make sure there is no dirt left on the tubers – as it will result in a gritty texture.
2. Trim the leek by slicing off the end root and the tough green parts, Slice the leek in half and rinse out thoroughly. Chop and set aside.
3. Trim the fennel and cut in quarters, removing the inner root and tough ends. Chop ¼ of the fennel bulb and reserve the rest for a side apple-fennel salad.
4. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and add 1 TB ghee or extra virgin olive oil. Swirl and add leek, onion (or shallots) and fennel. Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
5. Add spices, continue cooking and stir until aromatic.
6. Add sunchokes, broth, water and plant milk, making sure the vegetables are covered with liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
7. Once cooked, turn off heat, remove cover and take the pot off the heat. Allow to cool enough to blend.
8. Once cool enough, remove about 1 cup of soup and set aside to use as garnish. Place the remainders in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
9. When ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stove. Serve with reserved garnish and optional herbs (chopped parsley, hemp seeds, sprouts, etc.).
You end up with this (reserve about 1/2 cup of the chopped sunchokes for garnish):
Once blended, it turns into...
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