Seasonal Chef Recipe: Jerusalem Artichoke, Celery Root and Pomegranate Soup

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Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are not artichokes at all, but do have the flavor and scent of them, when cooked. Combined with celery root this soup  has a delightfully earthy flavor. The pomegranate seeds add a nice burst of  tangy sweetness to the overall dish. Click this link: read more about Jerusalem artichokes.

Seasonal Chef Recipe: Jerusalem Artichoke, Celery Root and Pomegranate Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

We're in the middle of Fall and root vegetables are with us now in a big way. This easy soup combines two seemingly unattractive vegetables with a big flavor. Don't skip the pomegranates on this one, they really make the dish!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup shallot, 1/2" dice
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 cups celery root, 1/2" dice, about 10 oz, from 20 oz untrimmed bulb
  • 1 lb Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes), scrubbed well and cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 cups stock
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds
  • Good fruity finishing oil

Instructions

  1. Place the shallot, garlic and butter in a small stock pot over medium heat. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook until the shallots are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the celery root, Jerusalem artichokes, thyme branch and 3 cups of stock. Bring to a low boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the thyme branch and add the nuts.
  4. Using an immersion (stick) blender, puree the the soup until very smooth. Alternatively you can use a conventional blender. Add the remaining stick to get the soup to your desired consistency. (I used the last cup.) Taste for seasoning and add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper as needed.
  5. For each serving sprinkle 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds in each bowl. Don't skip this step! The pomegranates will provide a nice fresh acidic bite, balancing the earthiness of the soup.
  6. Drizzle with a good fruity finishing oil and serve.

Notes

The easiest, and least messy way to clean pomegranates: after a good rinse cut it into 4 pieces and place in a large bowl filled with cool water. Separate the arils (seeds) from the white pulp, under the water. The seeds will fall to the bottom of the bowl and the white pulp will float to the top, making it easy to get them out.

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About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmers, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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