by Chef Jose Meirelles, Le Marais
2-½ lbs of Jerusalem Artichokes (also called Sunchokes)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces of smoked beef or smoked veal, diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, sliced
2 celery stalks, rough chop
1 cup button mushrooms
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 bunch of thyme
6 black peppercorns
4 quarts of chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
Salt and white pepper
Wash the sunchokes in cold water to remove all excess dirt. Place them on a sheet pan, coat with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then place into a 375 degree oven.
Remove the sunchokes when they are very tender and begin to caramelize. The caramelizing is important to the flavor of the soup. This should take about 25-30 minutes.
In your soup pot, add the diced smoked meat and the 2 T of olive oil. Render out the meat until it is crispy. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and drain on to a paper towel. Reserve the meat for garnishing later. Save all of the fat in the pot.
Add into the fat the leeks, celery and mushrooms. Sauté over medium high heat until the vegetables soften, yet, don’t have any color.
Add the bottle of wine, increase the heat to high, and reduce the wine by ¾.
Place the thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf into cheesecloth and tie with butchers twine. Toss the bag into the pot.
Add the roasted sunchokes to the pot and cover with the stock or water. Bring to a boil and then let cook for about 45 minutes. This will allow for the stock to reduce some and for all of the flavors to develop. Season with salt and white pepper. Remove the herb sachet before puréeing.
In small batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth and creamy. Adjust the consistency with the stock or water as needed. If the soup is to thin, put it back into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to your desired consistency.
When serving, garnish the soup with the crispy smoked beef and some chiffonade of parsley.