Jerusalem artichokes as winter comfort food

One thing I absolutely love about winter is the opportunity to consume copious amounts of soup. Sadly, this year we've had a very mild winter, and very few cold proper cold nights. Tonight was one of those nights, and for dinner I had a generous bowl of Jerusalem artichoke soup. I adopted a recipe from Claudia Roden's The Book of Jewish Food. With this I had a vintage applewood smoked cheddar and parmesan baguette (half of which I filled with Somerset apple chutney, made by one of my PhD supervisors). It was a delicious combination of flavours, earthy, nutty and fruity at the same time. The cinnamon and raisins in the chutney actually made the whole meal more wintery, adding sharpness and spice to the warmth of the crispy baguette and the soup.

Here are the recipes for tonight's meal, and their costs!

Jerusalem artichoke soup (serves 4)

Preparation time: 30-40min
Cooking time: 50min
1 large onion, chopped - £0.45p
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil - £0.06p
2 garlic cloves, chopped - £0.05p
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I suppose tinned tomatoes will also do if you want to do this even quicker!) - £0.38p
500g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled - £1.75
1.2L chicken stock (If you don't have frozen homemade chicken stock, I recommend Knorr chicken stock pots) - £0.30p
salt and pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced £0.18p
Total cost: £3.17

Fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes and stir for 5 minutes Add the artichokes and the stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 40 minutes. Mash roughly and finish by stirring in the lemon juice.

Applewood cheddar and parmesan baguette (serves 1)
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 5min
1/3 (or 1/2 if you're hungry) of a freshly baked baguette, buttered (I use whey butter) - £0.26p for the baguette, £0.06p for the butter
30g applewood smoked cheddar, sliced - £0.32p
20g parmigiano reggiano, grated - £0.31p
Total cost: £0.95p

Preheat oven to 250°c. Slice the baguette in half. Butter both sides evenly. Arrange the sliced cheddar on both sides and top with grated parmesan. Reduce heat to 200°c. Put under the grill for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread to desired crispness.

In sum - tonight's dinner cost me a whopping £1.74!!! Yep, and that didn't break the bank! Let me know if you have a crack at any of these recipes - the soup's pretty good to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and can be stored in the fridge (5°c or cooler) for 5 days, up to 3 months if frozen.

Hungry for more,
The Academicook