Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke and Celeriac Soup

by Jenn on February 8, 2012

in Gluten Free,Photography,Soups,Vegetarian

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Forgive me for yet another soup recipe, but we are going on week two of not even coming close to escaping sub-freezing temps here, and soup just has that way of warming you  up – the wind is blustering outside, frost snowflakes are whipping at your face and you realize that you are doubting the efficacy of all that cold weather gear wrapped around you, wondering if you’ve accidentally misplaced yourself and suddenly ended up amidst an Antarctic expedition in a condition 1 blizzard.  Ok, clearly I am being overly dramatic. But it did dip to below -20º C (-4º F) in several parts of Switzerland last weekend, and in my book, that’s cold.  And that type of cold calls for soup.

As I sit here in my home, safely sheltered from the unforgiving chill outside, I remember that I love winter.  I love it for getting an excuse to cuddle up with my husband and a cup of tea, under a blanket together watching a movie.  I love the familiar comfort of wearing my grandmother’s woolen scarf and knowing that even though she was buried a long time ago and her body rests on the other side of the world, her spirit is always with me, and that scarf will always bring me the happiest memories of her.  And I love winter for the way my breath decorates the air with a miniature cloud upon every exhale, as if the very air were spinning a tale to tell us all by a warm fire.  And I love it for the snow, and the way it sparkles in the sunshine.

View from La Berneuse, Leysin

The sun may taunt us with her false lure of warmth – but up in the mountains out snowshoeing with new-found friends the sunny glow reflects back at us everywhere we turn, and those sub-freezing temperatures can actually feel downright pleasant. See my husband is clearly having a good time :)

Snowshoeing in the Alps

Winter can be a blast of beauty and fun.  But when our wintry adventures are done and we are back in the warm comfort of home, soup sounds like just the perfect cure for red cheeks and shiny noses.

I also enjoy soups because they are often some of the easiest recipes to convert to gluten free. Several need no converting at all, and are already naturally gluten free – my favorite type of GF meal.  Usually the most a soup requires to become GF is a flour substitution, and in most cases any old all purpose GF flour will do just fine.  This soup, however, needs no such converting – made with celery root, jerusalem artichokes, some wine and cream, the simplicity of the soup highlights the best flavors of the root vegetables.

You may remember my celery root adventures earlier this year where I roasted them with parsnips – and while that was tasty, I wasn’t completely blown away with how they came out. So this time I decided to pair them with jerusalem artichokes (topinambours en français), which despite their name are neither artichokes nor from Jerusalem.  In fact, they are more related to a sunflower than anything else, and I believe come in beige or redder varieties.

Celeriac Jerusalem Artichokes

The most work with either of these vegetables is cleaning/peeling them.  Celery root does not take kindly to a vegetable peeler (at least mine), and so I find it much easier to use a knife to trim off the gnarly exterior.  For the jerusalem artichokes, however,  I have yet to find an “easy” way to prep them.  Because they are rather knobby like ginger, my peeler doesn’t have the easiest time getting into all of the nooks and crannies of their unusual shape.  If you have a choice at the market, I’d pick up the ones that look the most cylindrical to you as that will do the best for reducing prep time.  Else, maybe just chop them in strategic places to make peeling them easier, or find a magic vegetable peeler.  However you go about it, the effort is worth it though.  Their flavor is light and mild, and they are quite versatile, as they can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked into soups, purées, and the like.  I felt they would pair wonderfully with celery root to make a comforting bowl of creamy wintry warmth – garnished with an arugula pesto and some homemade croutons, and the soup was perfect :)


 Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke and Celeriac Soup

Adapted from BBC – James Taylor
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


For the Soup:

  • 1 lemon (to keep veggies from browning while cutting them)
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) jerusalem artichokes, peeled
  • 1 celery root, peeled
  • 1 glug olive oil and an equal amount of butter
  • 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • a good sprinkling of dried thyme
  • half bottle mild white wine
  • 500 mL (a couple cups) or so vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Garnish:

  • a lot of arugula, or spinach, or whatever your favorite green is
  • handful of toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • GF garlic parm croutons or croutons of your choice
  • fresh thyme


1. Squeeze the lemon into a large bowl and add some water.  Chop the jerusalem artichokes and celery root, transferring the chopped vegetable into the bowl of lemon water.  This will keep them from browning.
2.  Heat up olive oil and butter together in a pot on fairly high heat, and add the onions, garlic and thyme, sautéing until soft.
3. Drain the root vegetables and add them to the aromatics along with the wine and vegetable broth, adding enough until the vegetables are covered.  Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer, and let the soup simmer covered until the vegetables are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork.
4. Remove from heat and purée the soup either in a food processor or with an immersion blender, and then stir in the cream. Add salt and pepper to taste, though keep in mind the pesto and crouton garnish will add saltiness as well.
5. For the garnish, make the pesto by combining greens, pine nuts, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor, adding olive oil until it all comes together nicely.
6. Serve the soup into bowls, spoon some pesto on top and garnish with croutons and fresh thyme.  Enjoy!


Leysin Sunset

Also submitted to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays


Rosa February 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Gorgeous clicks, especially the 1st and last ones!

That soup look so good! What a tasty combination.

Like you, I love Winter, but the polar weather we are experiencing is not really pleasant when it’s windy…



Jenn February 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Thanks Rosa! And no, it is definitely not pleasant right now at all….

Kulsum@journeykitchen February 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I’m definitely enjoying my soups this winter too even though its not even close to as cold as yours! I have read so much about it, I’m yet to use these root vegetables in my cooking.

Jenn February 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Thanks so much Kulsum!

Chef Connie February 9, 2012 at 12:33 am

What beautiful pictures. I have been on a soup kick also and made a curried veg soup today. I am also in the mountains and soup and bread are all we eat right now. I always love to see a post come in from this blog. Always nice.

Jenn February 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

Thank you Connie! Would love to hear about your curried vegetable soup too, that also sounds perfect for this wintry weather :)

Jennifer (Delicieux) February 9, 2012 at 7:50 am

I love soups in winter too, and sometimes in summer I wish it was winter so I could indulge in soup! It’s always so comforting. I’ve never cooked with jerusalem artichoke, or celeriac for that matter. I’m bookmarking this for when it’s winter here.

That last photo is so amazing Jenn!!! I love that beautiful pink sky!

Jenn February 9, 2012 at 8:14 am

Thanks so much Jennifer!

Jeanne @ CookSister! February 9, 2012 at 9:42 am

Mmmm, Sunday night is always soup night in our house! Jerusalm artichokes are one of the main reasons I look forward to winter (that and skiing!!) – I absolutely adore their flavour and often make a thicvk soup out of them, topped with crisp cubes of chorizo – just heaven! Love your combo of celeriac (another fave) and JAs but agree on the peeling thing – damn these knobbly vegetables! Love that pic of happy hubby :)

Jenn February 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Thanks so much Jeanne! Love the chorizo idea :)

France @ Beyond The Peel February 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm

What a yummy looking soup. I’d love to get my hands on Jerusalem Artichokes, but I have yet to find any in my area. This is a good excuse to go on a hunt for them.

Jenn February 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Thanks so much! Hope you are able to find some!

Sonia February 10, 2012 at 12:15 am

The Jerusalem Artichokes is something I want to try since a long time. I never have had tried it myself. You soup convinced me to try some day. And Jenn, should say anything more about all pics? Breathtaking!

Jenn February 10, 2012 at 7:56 am

Thanks so much Sonia!

Cristina, from BA to Paris February 12, 2012 at 10:45 am

I would LOVE to have this soup for lunch today!! Beautiful photos!

Jenn February 12, 2012 at 10:49 am

Thanks so much Cristina!!

Lisa February 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm

You are the master of creamy soups. I adore Winter, especially with lots of snow (which we have only had twice so far ..once in October!), so hot, flavorful soups are always on the menu. Both this and your creamy cauliflower soup are not only ideal, but I love the creamy ‘winter white’ color of both! Gorgeous photos as always!

InTolerantChef February 15, 2012 at 3:06 am

I love both these vegetables and have planted them both in my garden. The celariac is doing well, but I don’t think the artichokes are taking off :( Lovely recipe, yumm…

Jenn February 15, 2012 at 5:15 am

maybe they are just a little slow, I have no idea! hope they end up turning around for you :)

kristy lynn @ Gastronomical Sovereignty February 15, 2012 at 4:46 am

you know you can eat the skin from sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) right? I’d just leave those babies skin and all to cook em! Extra nutrition too!

That being said, how much do I LOVE your use of seasonal winter veggies for this dish? I am impressed, lady!

PS. where do you live that it’s so Wintery?? I had my jacket undone today and was chillin in the yard for a touch!

Jenn February 15, 2012 at 5:17 am

Interesting and good to know, thanks! I am in Europe at the moment, almost 3 weeks straight below freezing…

Jenn and Seth (@HomeSkilletCook) February 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm

wow, the soup looks so beautiful and delicious! yum!

Jenn February 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Thanks :)

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