Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

artichoke soup

artichoke soup

May 10th, 2013

Last weekend I had lunch chez Rick and Su in Golders Green. Su made a stunning Jerusalem Artichoke soup from home grown artichokes – I saw a bouquet garni and some double cream go in there, but I’m unsure of the complete recipe (this one by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall looks good). The crostini floating on top with melted cheese and pesto was a delicious addition.

It’s worth noting that Jerusalem Artichokes are actually a species of sunflower. They do not come from Jerusalem and they are not actually artichokes. The edible part is the tuber, growing in the ground – they have quite a nutty flavour and can be cooked in similar ways to the potatoe and other root vegetables. Jerusalem Artichokes are a good source of iron, potassium and vitamin B1, but beware, they can cause flatulence! Be careful when planting them in the back garden, Jerusalem Artichokes will take over and can be hard to remove once planted.

chopped liver

chopped liver

Next came traditional chopped liver from Menachem’s kosher butcher and delicatessen. Chopped liver is pâté like in consistency – chicken livers are fried in schmaltz (chicken fat) with onions and chopped with hard boiled eggs. Serve with Matzo crackers

kosher pickle

kosher pickle

and Mrs. Elswood pickled cucumbers.

There were also some other chopped raw vegetables, such as tomato and a lovely looking tabbouleh, which I missed completely in my endeavour to photograph the liver and pickle! We were going out so time was of the essence.

alphonso mango

alphonso mango

To end the meal we had Alphonso Mangos



which Rick says are the best. They tasted delicious, so I’m inclined to believe him!

We rushed up to Whitestone Pond, at the top of Hampstead Heath, to watch a five meter high Godzilla puppet re-enact the Battle of the River Plate. We got up there just after 4pm, expecting to see the battle – the event was due to climax at 4.30, however, all we saw were bits of puppet being loaded into a van…



To console ourselves we marched back down the hill and ate florentines with a cup of tea.

About Mad Dog
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24 Responses to Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

  1. That looks like a wonderful meal. I think the ‘Jerusalem’ comes from a corruption of ‘girasole’, sunflower. The soup does look good with the crostini and pesto…I can imagine the flavour! I’ve never had genuine chopped liver and I’m very tempted – I’ll try it as soon as I get the chance.

  2. Michelle says:

    What a lovely day. I think Jerusalem artichokes are way underappreciated. The soup sounds grand.

  3. Eha says:

    Actually love the ugly beasts [J artichokes, I mean!] and did look up the very appetizing recipe! Shall copy and thanks for the link!! Should perchance not bring up Jamie Oliver in the same breath, but on film he shows how to deal with the peeling of the vegetable in quite an easy way: similarly as how we deal with a pineapple! Anyway it seems you had a very moreish menu and the rushing up the Heath must have burnt up a few of the kilojoules 🙂 !

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    I have yet to try a Jerusalem artichoke and think it’s about time I do. Forget the corned beef. I can tell a good deli by the pickles served. A good kosher dill is a real treat!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Hi John, I think you’ll like them. Generally I just wash them and slice them and put them in with roast potatoes. No peeling necessary. Obviously quarter inch thick slices don’t take as long to cook as big pieces of potato. I think they probably go in for the last 30 – 45 minutes, until golden 😉

  5. I’m very keen on Jerusalem artichokes, except for the fiddly preparation. They also make you fart like a mad thing. We had a very good Jerusalem artichoke tagine in Essaouira some time ago, during another disastrous holiday.

    • Mad Dog says:

      I thought I’d got away with the wind, but it took longer to get me in the soup. Bet they don’t do those for the new school dinners campaign 😉

  6. Karen says:

    One thing I know…you have wonderful friends who love and cook good food. You must have a great time with them. 🙂

  7. Ooh, sounds yum. I have a vast supply of Jerusalem artichokes from the garden so will definitely be trying this soup out.

  8. cecilia says:

    I think I can grow them here, the NotJerusalemNorArtichokes, the winter usually stops any spreading in it tracks.. My sister in law grows them and she is a good old fashioned gardener.. so i really should.. i remember those florentines.. hmmmm.. c

  9. Love them too but I do remember reading that they fell out of fashion when those straight laced Victorians couldn’t deal with all those gases! How funny 🙂 The chopped liver and mangoes are also big favourites with me and I’d much rather have had florentines than a King Kong battle 🙂

  10. expatchef says:

    Oh I love me some “sun chokes” as we call them on the other side of the pond!!! Also, schmaltz….mmmmm reminds me of the cooking of my youth! Nothing like matzo crackers too! What a great menu!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Sun chokes is probably a better name – it saves a lot of confusion as Jerusalem and Globe Artichokes are very different vegetables 😉

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