Spelt soup with Jerusalem artichokes and saffron

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Preparation info

  • Serve

    4

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Pure Vegetarian

By Paul Gayler

Published 2006

  • About

In Britain modern cooks are rediscovering the full flavour of whole grains like spelt, and not before time. They have long been popular in Europe, especially Italy, where spelt is more commonly known as farro and is used in all manner of tasty dishes. It is very nutritious and the perfect answer for those people who want to eat good, hearty grain products. It is available from health food shops.

Ingredients

  • 150 g fine spelt (preferably organic)
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300 g Jerusalem artichokes, well scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • pinch of saffron
  • 750 ml good vegetable stock, hot
  • 150 ml single cream
  • 40 g pecorino cheese (ewe’s milk cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper

    Method

    Soak the spelt overnight in a bowl of cold water and drain.

    Melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. Add the artichokes, sage and saffron and mix well. Pour in the hot vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Add the spelt, cover and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes or until the artichokes are tender. (Reserve 25 g cooked spelt for the garnish.) Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth, then return the soup to a clean pan. Add the cream and return to the boil; season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

    Meanwhile, grate the pecorino cheese as fine as possible and mix it with the reserved spelt in a bowl. Divide the soup between four serving bowls, sprinkle over the spelt and pecorino mixture and drizzle over the olive oil. Serve immediately.