Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are combined with leeks, shallots and stock to make this simple, yet elegant, soup.
Wash and peel the sunchokes. Use a vegetable peeler to peel most of the sunchokes and then use a paring knife to get in between the nobby parts. As you peel the sunchokes, place them into cold water to prevent them from oxidizing.
*Note: Sunchokes, which are also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are like a potato crossed with a jicama, water chestnut and an artichoke.
For the leek, use only the white and light green part. Cut it in half, wash and then slice. Peel and slice the shallots and emince the garlic.
To start the soup, heat a suitable-sized pot over medium-low heat and add the oil. *Note: Any type of oil, such as coconut or grapeseed oil or even a non-dairy butter substitute would work.
Add the leek, shallot and garlic, followed by a pinch of salt. Sweat until translucent, making sure nothing takes on any color.
Meanwhile, slice the sunchokes into even-sized pieces. Reserve one small sunchoke for the chips (keep it in the water until you are ready to slice it).
Once the aromatics are translucent, add the sunchokes and cook for a few more minutes.
Next, cover the ingredients with the liquid plus about 10 percent. You may need more or less liquid depending on the amount of vegetables.
In a small stainless steel fry pan, heat the oil to 250°F (120°C). Once the oil comes up to the right temperature remove the sunchokes from the water, dry and then thinly slice.
Fry the sunchokes until golden, about 2 or 4 minutes. Remove and place onto a paper towel. Season to taste with salt. Set aside while you finish the soup.
Once the sunchokes in the soup are cooked all of the way through, which should take about 20 to 30 minutes, take the soup off of the heat.
Next, carefully blend the soup. For a velvety-smooth soup, strain the soup through a fine sieve. Once done, transfer the soup back into a pot and then add the heavy cream. *Note: For a non-diary version, omit the heavy cream and use a non-diary cream, if desired.
Adjust the consistency to your liking. If you need to thin the soup out, you can add a bit more hot stock and/or cream, if desired.
Once the soup has warmed through, take it and adjust the seasoning as needed. For this soup, you can season with white pepper so it doesn’t look like there are little black flecks throughout.
Garnish the soup with some of the crispy sunchokes and some finely chopped chives.