Sunday, 13 April 2008

whine and soup: jerusalem artichoke soup with lemon cream and crispy-fried leeks

OK, so the cat's out of the bag. Well, one of them, anyway. I have no kitchen.

Actually, I've had no kitchen for the past 3 weeks now, and it's killing me. I'm eating rubbish (by definition, anything that doesn't come out of my kitchen is generally rubbish), I'm not sleeping, and I feel like sh*t. I hadn't realised quite how big a part cooking played in my life. I certainly do now.

Yep, the kitchen's being made over, gutted, rebuilt, refurbished, redesigned, or whatever term you want to give it. All adds up to the same thing. Five weeks of building work (hopefully) and then one week of the kitchen actually being fitted. In the meantime, we're living in squalor in the living room, and have no kitchen facilities AT ALL. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Oh, and the brick dust is everywhere, and in everything. And I mean, everything. Yuck, phooey. Even the vacuum cleaner's on strike over it.

What this all means, of course, is that I'm busted for the rest of this post. This is actually something I made a few weeks back and then forgot all about. The shame. Still, it gives me something to put on here during the great non-kitchen interlude.

OK, so it's another soup. I promise this will be the last soup for a good many months - except, perhaps, for chilled sweet soups, which I might just have a play with over the summer.

The joke is that I'm really not a big fan of soups. I rarely eat them, let alone make them. So I dunno where all these soups have come from, really I don't.

I suppose this one got made because my veg box supplier decided a few weeks ago that they had a glut of jerusalem artichokes, and were going to give some away (for free? does that really happen?) in all their veg boxes for that week. It also happened to be darn cold. Soup seemed like a reasonable idea.

I also had my beadies on my Denis Cotter book again. His JA soup looked good. Really good. But it had sheep's cheese risotto balls in it, too. Which would have been fine, but I sure as hell wasn't going to be making risotto so that we could have a risotto ball each in our soup. Waaaaay too much effort.

So, a few tweaks, if you please. I nabbed his lemon cream from another recipe, and the nest of leeks represent my own feeble stab at some originality and making it a bit, y'know, fancy-schmancy.

The recipe for the soup is on page 280 of the book. Look, like I said, I'm tired, ok, and I really, really don't feel like typing it all out, much as I love you. I know you'll hate me. I can handle it. I'm that tired. Anyway, it's a pretty classic cream soup recipe, and the key is put the soup through a sieve to get that oh-so-lovely velvety-smoothness, and not to get trigger-happy with the truffle oil. A drop or two is fine. It's JA soup, not truffle oil soup.

The lemon cream? (It's there if you look hard enough, honest - it's just round the edges of the leek nest.) This is fab. Simple, but fab. For 4 peeps - 100ml veg stock, 100ml white wine, 300ml double cream, zest 1 lemon, juice of half a lemon. Chuck the stock and the wine in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half (about 5 mins). Add the cream and reduce again 'to get a slightly thickened pouring consistency'. Stir in the zest and juice, and season. Job done.

Crispy-fried leeks? Too easy. Just slice into really thin strands and deep fry for as long as it takes for them to crispen - just a few seconds. Drain on kitchen paper.

Put it all together. Admire. Take photos under appalling artificial light with cheap point-and-shoot again. Eat. Agree with your fellow diner(s) that it's just about the most perfectest soup. Evah.


jerusalem artichoke soup 1




jerusalem artichoke soup 2

44 comments:

Peter M said...

I'm going to finally try J. artichokes this year...this soup is cementing my desire to try it.

This photo could appear in a food mag.

Sylvie said...

Good luck with the rest of the building work. I hope it goes quickly!

RecipeGirl said...

Your cheap point and shoot did a great job! Nice photo :)

I suppose if I were in your position, I'd be getting out the- shudder- crock pot and trying to manage dinner in our Master bedroom. Or, better yet... I might get out our camping stove and make a go of it in the backyard! The end results will be great- so good luck in the meantime.

Maria V said...

this soup looks great - despite not being made in a kitchen!

Manggy said...

It's extremely hot here as you know, but I would gladly sweat it out to have a taste of that gorgeous soup :) (I'm not sure what's the difference between regular artichokes and JAs, but as I've only had canned chokes, it can't possibly be worse-- and I love chokes at this rate!)

(I really have to find a way to stop putting long sentences inside parentheses)

Heather said...

Ha! I always save up dishes and photos for posting during a lull in cooking. I have a month's worth of posts just sitting in my files. Unfortunately, now I am enjoying cooking but don't feel like writing about it.

Nick said...

Very professional presentation and pictures. I hate artichokes but this looks scrumptious. Excellent work!

- The Peanut Butter Boy

Indigo said...

I've never had jerusalem artichokes, but that soup does look stunning; the crispy leek nest is a masterstroke. And you have my complete sympathy over being kitchen-less; I can't even imagine. And any attempt to imagine makes me shiver with horror. I'm pretty pathetic, really XD.

Pixie said...

I guess it's a good thing to have loads of extra food photos around- as I have many that I've yet written about. It's becoming overload.

Hope you're days will get easier;you can always make salad...no need really to use the kitchen and then we can admire more of your terrific recipes.

*hugs* to ya

Annemarie said...

Great looking soup - I do like Denis Cotter. I hear you about the kitchen rebuilding pain. But after the dust has settled (and been hoovered up 3,4,5 times) it will be worth it. Oh yes it will.

Linda said...

i just had leeks for dinner. one of my favorites. i adore how you've used them here.

michelle @ TNS said...

i don't know why you're whining about the light, those are great pix.

i've been on the fence, but between this and the wild ramp vichyssoise i had out a few days ago, i'm sold.

ovenhaven said...

Oh but it really does look like the most perfect soup ever! Artificial lighting or not, the photos are lovely as always.

White On Rice Couple said...

How exciting!! You're getting a new kitchen! Will you be showing us some pictures?
Jerusalem artichokes are something we have not tried yet, darn-it! Gotta find some first before we can even think about making your delicious soup!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Peter - good on you! You won't regret it...

Sylvie - thank you. We're getting there, but it's oh, so slow

Recipegirl - all our kitchen equipment is boxed away. And we don't have much in the way of washing-up facilities, either (the bathroom basin - yuk!)

Manggy - look them up on Wiki. They're way different from globe artichokes. Depending on variety, they look like a cross between root ginger and potatoes. The taste is kinda smokey-sweet (but not so sweet as, say, parsnip or sweet potato)

Nick - thank you!

indigo - try them, go on. And no, I don't recommend being kitchen-less. It ain't good for the soul...

Pixie - you'll be amazed how many salads have cooked ingredients in them... and we can't cook!

annemarie - that's what I keep telling myself. And I've lost count how many times I've hoovered so far...

WOR couple - yep, you must try them! And yes, I'm sure I'll be boring everyone with kitchen pics before long...

Mike of Mike's Table said...

For all of the obstacles you're facing (kitchen, camera, etc), this soup looks fantastic!

Hope the construction works out soon--I'd certainly be at a loss and can imagine your frustration. I'd probably be finding all sorts of odd excuses for bbq/grilling things, lol

Rosie said...

Now this soup looks great and wonderful presentation! Good luck with the ongoing building. I would be getting my slow cooker out if it was me :)

Rosie x

Gigi said...

What a great looking soup! You did an amazing job, the photography is just stunning!

cook eat FRET said...

this sounds excellent
but really delicious

and it looks like restaurant food - just beautiful

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I have never cooked artichokes before, but this soup is tempting me to try....

Pia K said...

Ah, it really sucks being without a kitchen - or well having builders/craftsmen in the house, I remember when we had the bathroom done in my previous apartment. Didn't have a bathroom for at least three weeks... Luckily the toilet was separate *imagine...*.

However having no kitchen, not being able to cook real food, I would probably be able to live on carrots and fruit juices and if I happened to be living in UK, those scrumptious eggcress sandwiches from the supermarkets *yup that easy to please am I, sometimes:)*

I'm no fan of artichoke, but the soup looks creamy gorgeous and I agree on the pictures being just lovely! And the fancy decoration is adorable!

Kevin said...

I still need to try jerusalem artichokes! The soup looks good. Once your new kitchen is done it will have been worth the wait!

Sophie said...

I think I'd go CRAZY without a kitchen! I feel like my hands always have to be baking/cooking something; even when the rest of my body's tired, they still convince me that I need to be making something! I'm actually looking forward to more soup entries! I feel like my knowledge of soup recipes is so limited :/. I love the leek idea you have, that is so cool, I never would've thought of doing that.

kittie said...

I feel for you - I had my kitchen redone last year... it took 7 weeks in the end... :-S

Great photos though - I wish my artificial light was as poor as that ;)

Oh, and did you know, JAs are neither artichokes... or from Jerusalem?? Random trivia for the day :)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I can sympathize with the kitchen renovation. I had to live out of a microwave for a few weeks when I did mine two years ago. The best part was that I was also having hardwood floors put in. This was supposed to be done while I was on vacation, but it wasn't quite done and I came home to find my DR table on top of my bed.

Looking at this soup I'd say you're managing far better than I did!

Helen said...

Exactly the same thing happened to me, I've never been a massive fan of soups but then I've just been through a spell of making them constantly. Your soup looks delish, I always love to plonk a bit of something textured on top of my soup, it brings everything to life. Jerusalem chokes are the best!

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

What's the address I'll send over some pizzas:) Soup looks great!!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I feel your pain. Living without a kitchen is the pits! But you'll be so happy in a new kitchen it's worth it. Your soup looks fabulous. Good work with the point and shoot.

Peabody said...

Wow, no kitchen, so no fun.

Antonia said...

No kitchen for a whole six weeks?! I don't know how I'd cope. I'm sure it will all be worth it though when you have a stunning new kitchen in place. In the meantime, the photos are great (as always). Your artificial light is clearly a lot better than mine!!

Sarah said...

Your soup looks lovely. Sorry about not having a kitchen for a while--but remember how great it will be once finished!
I have secret old recipes that I pull out on weeks where all I want is to order in pizza. So don't feel bad!

Naomi Devlin said...

That soup looks as fancy as an ascot hat. But believe me when I say, I ain't no lady when I've had a bowl of artichoke soup - if you know-what-i-mean?

Hope the building work passes swiftly.

x x x

Johanna said...

love your fancy schmancy alternative to risotto balls - the soup does look lovely - I think I have marked a few JA soups but must check out denis cotter's one

Julia said...

Oh I so feel for you. I know it will be SO worth it when it's all done, but what hell in the meantime.

I've tagged you for a meme:

http://asliceofcherrypie.blogspot.com/2008/04/six-words.html

Lachefderouge said...

the soup actually looks really good, i'm really curious and interested in the "vege box" thing, i live in florida and i don't know if farmers do that down here, i'm goin' to take a look at that, plus if you can give me some advice that would be great :)

Lachefderouge said...

(i think something happened to my previous comment so i'm posting again...)

i really like soups... alot, i have them no matter what the wheather is, i think that's because of my grandma, she made some great haitian traditional soups that bring me so much comfort... and i wanted to know more about the "vege box" thing, the site is down and just wanted to know exactly what it is... maybe i can do that here, i'm in florida so i don't know if they do that...

David Hall said...

Sorry to hear about the lack of kitchen! I've been there before, nightmare.

I sincerely hope that you didn;t suffer the nighmare of jerusalem artichoke backlash too.....

Cheers
David

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Thank you for all the sympathy! I feel much better now ;-)

For all those who haven't yet had their kitchen rebuilt/designed/furbished - move home. It's easier. Trust me on this.

short disorder cook - that doesn't sound like fun

antonia - it had better be worth it!

naomi, david - I know just what you mean ;-) But this soup didn't have that effect, thankfully

lorraine - yep, please send over those pizzas. Do you think a fiorentina would travel well?!

julia - okaaaay... I'm rubbish at doing memes, you know that?

la chef - I've no idea whether you can order veg boxes in the US. I'd be surprised if you can't, but I'm really just guessing. Best ask your fellow US foodie bloggers. The Riverford site is back up again now, BTW, so you can get a better idea of what it's all about.

Lore said...

What a great-looking soup! I love that you put some wine in it. Hope your new kitchen worths waiting for.

Marie said...

I love jerusalem artichokes and they make fabulous soup. I make a really delicious Jerusalem artichoke and turnip soup (swede) that is to die for. It also has lentils in it, the combination of the three making for a somewhat volatile combination, but its soo good nobody really minds!

Cynthia said...

I've only every heard of jerusalem artichoke.

About the kitchen, look at it this way, start to dream of that special dish that will make it's debut in it :)

Susan said...

Not the worse p&s snap under artificial light evah. ; ) A mighty fine soup. Quite lovely, really.

No kitchen, eh? My condolences. I know those who have been to hell and back with renovations. They *did* come back, mind you. It'll be fab when it's done.

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Heather Wilkinson said...

I've been looking for decent a JA recipe for ages and I think this fits the bill. My hubs has also banned me from baking and lavish meals for a while (no will power + expanding waistlin) so we'll be eating nowt but soup all week I fear!