Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Sunchoke Soup with Lemon and Saffron

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I'd never even held a sunchoke in my hands until I scooped up a pound or so last weekend at my brand new local co-op, The Dill Pickle Food Co-op (Chicagoans take note, it's in Logan Square). The tuber is slightly purple and shaped much like a fingerling potato. But that certainly didn't mean I knew what the hell to do with them.

My intense search yielded a staggeringly few choices beyond boring baked ones and blended soups. Had I stocked up on the wrong spud?

Turns out they can also be called Jerusalem Artichokes, and recipes are much easier to find when you search under that moniker. But I'll just be contrary, and say I prefer the snappier sunchoke. Anyway, they come out of the pot like a cross between a Yukon gold and a yucca, which is not a bad place to be.

Very tender and slightly creamy, they give the soup a silky quality that works well in with this recipe from the Food Network. The creamy soup is balanced by a pinch of saffron and a shot of lemon, which help brighten up this cold weather meal.

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