February 16th, 2009


Jerusalem Artichoke and Haricot Bean Soup

This Jerusalem artichoke and haricot bean soup is rich, velvety and highly perfumed. The distinctive perfume of the Jerusalem artichoke is not everyone’s cup of tea but it certainly makes me really excited. The smoked pancetta is a perfect aromatic that gets absorbed by the haricot beans. I get a warm fuzzy feeling when cooking this soup, it has that homely warmth and comfy feeling about it.

Around mid January I went to see Janie Turner from Thermomix UK. She has a fabulous vegetable garden with chickens and all. I got all excited when Janie started to talk about her successful crop of Jerusalem artichokes. Janie kindly gave me a bag filled to the brim with these beautiful knobbly tubers. They were so fresh that their skins were tender and  slightly  pink.

The blood in my veins started to flow a bit faster as my brain started to work overtime on all the fantastic dishes that I could make with these beauties.

I love them even if they do have adverse effects. However when consumed in small quantities I cannot see any reason why they should not be indulged once a year when they are in season.

Jerusalem Artichokes has suffered the miss- fortune of bearing a name that has nothing to do with either Jerusalem or artichokes. The Jerusalem artichoke tubers come from a plant related to the sunflower.

I have also made a delicious warm Jerusalem artichoke and potato salad(to go with slow roasted belly of pork) and a delicious focaccia topped with roasted Jerusalem artichokes and rosemary.


  • 400g Jerusalem artichokes
  • 200g haricot beans, soaked over night
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 50g banana shallots
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 1L vegetable or white chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200ml double cream
  • 200g very small diced smoked pancetta
  • 200g cooked haricot beans for garnish
  • truffle oil

Soak the haricot beans over night in four times the amount of water.

Wash them under cold running water and drain before using.

Wash the Jerusalem Artichokes to remove any earth.

Peel and slice them finely, place the sliced Jerusalem Artichokes in water to prevent them from oxidising.

Peel and slice the banana shallots.

Heat a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the crushed garlic, sliced Jerusalem artichokes and banana shallots with a small amount of seasoning.

Put a lid on the saucepan and sweat the Jerusalem Artichokes .Stir occasionally.

As they start to colour add the drained haricot beans, cook for 1 minute.

Add the wine and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat  with the saucepan covered.

Add the stock, bring the stock to the boil reduce the heat and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes, until the beans are soft.

Add more salt and the cream.

Bring the soup back to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Blend the soup till smooth and serve in small cups with sautéed diced pancetta , cooked haricot beans, thyme flower and with a few drops of truffle oil.
Makes approximately 12 x 125ml cups of soup

Food Fanatics Tip

Add only a very small amount of salt to the Jerusalem artichokes. If you add too much salt from the beginning it will make the beans tough and they will never soften. It's very important to season as you cook, as this will help the flavours to develop and deliver a rounded soup with layers of flavour.

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