Jerusalem Artichoke, Leek and White Bean Soup

This soup is an ideal way to use up Jerusalem artichokes, the small, knobbly and tempestuous little tuber with no relation to either the artichoke or Jerusalem. Eating large amounts of these veg can cause noisy side-effects, so it’s best to make enough soup for the whole family and giggle at each other for the rest of the evening. This is light, delicate and very moreish, but one bowl is probably enough! Leftovers can be thickened as a pasta sauce simply by cooking pasta in it from cool, and allowing the starch to do the rest.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large leek
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 650 g Jerusalem artichokes
  • 600 ml vegetable stock or chicken-style stock – I use Osem
  • 1 × 400 g tin of cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled
  • 400 ml vegan ‘milk’ (soya or cashew works best here)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. First peel and very finely slice the onion, and do the same with your leek from the white part at the bottom, up to the green, stripping and discarding tough green outer layers as you go. Transfer the onion and leek to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with the oil and a pinch of salt and a little pepper. Cook on a very low heat for around 10 minutes to start to soften the onion and leek, but do not allow them to brown. Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking or burning.
  2. While the leeks and onions soften, gently scrub your artichokes. I keep a small nail brush beside the sink for cleaning vegetables – cheaper and simpler than a bulky vegetable brush.
  3. Once peeled or cleaned, slice your artichokes and add to the pan. Cover with the stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes on low – a long slow cook helps to break down the inulin in the artichokes (the carbohydrate that converts to carbon dioxide, aka noxious gas) so if you have a delicate constitution, it’s worth not rushing this step. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans, reserving the liquid (for aquafaba) and add to the pan with the lemon juice. Cook for 20 minutes more.
  4. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pan. Add the ‘milk’ and warm through gently without bringing to the boil, otherwise the ‘milk’ will spoil. Season with pepper to taste, and serve.