Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Saffron and Thyme

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Saffron and Thyme

Our plan this weekend was to go to the Dublin Food Co-op for something to eat before heading to the market in the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral. As I wasn't sure which soup to make, I decided to bring my copy of The Soup Book with me and to make my choice based on the available vegetables. First, though, the spouse, younger offspring and I made different choices for our lunch - falafel wrap (the spouse), vegetable curry (the offspring) and lentil soup (me). Then I inspected the vegetables. I haven't cooked with Jerusalem artichokes in years and the ones on display looked clean and fresh, so that was my vegetable choice made.

There are two Jerusalem artichoke recipes in The Soup Book: one involving scallops by Shaun Hill, the other by Celia Brooks Brown. I had no intention of buying scallops, so Celia's recipe it was. The ingredients include onions, garlic, artichokes, carrots, vegetable stock, thyme, saffron and lemon juice. I prepped the vegetables, but before starting to cook I had a very important job to do with the younger offspring: there was a Christmas tree to decorate. Many years ago, when my older offspring was five, we were all set to decorate the tree when I had an unexpected visitor. My friend and I went down to the kitchen for a cup of tea, leaving the older offspring with the tree. A few minutes later, he arrived down to us wearing his Santa hat and a very indignant expression. "Mum," he said, "we have a very important job to do." He was right and remembering how just how important the job is prompted me to delay today's soup-making activity.

So, two shattered baubles later, I was back in the kitchen, frying, stirring and blending. When it was ready, I left the soup to cool and made marzipan for the Christmas cake. Delicious. Mmmmm. I love marzipan. Then out I went to tidy up the garden, doing jobs I should have done last month. The work in the fresh air did me good. Soon it was dinner time, so I reheated enough soup for the three of us. It was really tasty; the sweetness of the carrots contrasted with the tang of the lemon juice, and the velvety texture of the liquidised vegetables made it very palatable. We all enjoyed it, even the younger offspring: "Good soup, Mum." What an honour!

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