Creamy Sunchoke, Broccoli, and Leek Soup with Crispy Shallots (gluten free, vegan)


 

I stayed home sick from work today.  It seems as though I am fighting the the spring cold that all my coworkers have.  My throat is sore, my nose is runny, and I feel yucky.  And no, it is not the swine flu; I haven't been to Mexico, and I haven't been cavorting with any pigs.

For some reason, when I'm sick, I still have the urge to cook.  And all I wanted was soup.  Specifically, I wanted creamy broccoli soup.  I have a genuine love for broccoli in all forms, and through my sick haze, I knew I needed to eat it.  I had some slightly sad leeks that needed to be used, and some lovely  sunchokes (a.k.a. Jerusalem Artichockes) in my crisper.  It sounded like a soup to me, something pureed and rich. 

This is like cream of broccoli soup, but better.  Roasting the sunchokes, leeks, and shallots first lends an nutty, sweet flavor that is incomparable.  The texture is smooth and creamy, and the flavor is full.  Thank goodness my nose isn't plugged and I can still taste stuff.  And since having a cold is no excuse not to eat well, I even fried up some shallots for a crisp, caramelly garnish.  It made for a perfectly lovely dinner, especially with a Garlic Chive Drop Biscuit on the side for dunking.  I'm excited for leftover soup tomorrow, and will have plenty to freeze for another day.   Oh, how I love big batches.

Just think - if I'm sick and made this soup, you certainly can on a good, healthy day!


CREAMY SUNCHOKE, BROCCOLI, AND LEEK SOUP WITH CRISPY SHALLOTS (gluten free, vegan)
yield: 6 servings

 

Soup:

2 c sunchokes a.k.a. Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and sliced in 1/2" cubes
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1" chunks
2 shallots
6 c broccoli, chopped
olive oil
6 c water, stock, or broth
1 tsp Herbamare or sea salt
2 T GF flour dissolved in 1/4 c water
Crispy shallot garnish:
4 shallots
2 T GF flour
  1. Heat oven to 400*.
  2. Wash and cut the sunchokes, leeks, and , and place in a roasting pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, and stir to coat.  Put pan in oven and roast for 45 minutes-1 hour, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and golden. Remove from oven.
  3. While vegetables are roasting, wash and chop broccoli, and steam until bright green and tender.  Set aside until vegetables are done roasting.
  4. Combine roasted vegetables, broccoli, and broth/stock, and puree until completely smooth.  If using an immersion blender, you can do this right in a large soup pot.  If using a blender/food processor, you will need to do it in batches.  
  5. Transfer to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Dissolve 2 T of GF flour in 1/4 c water, add to soup, and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.  Soup will start to thicken and look more creamy.
  6. Turn heat down to low, and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. 
  7. While soup cools, thinly slice remaining shallots.  Coat with 2 T of GF flour.  Heat oil in a fry pan until hot, and add floured shallots, stirring to coat with oil.  Fry until golden brown and crispy, but not burnt.  Remove and let cool on paper towel.
  8. Ladle into bowls, garnishing with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of crispy shallots.  Bon appetit!