This root is also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour. Despite its name, Jerusalem artichoke has no relatives in the artichoke family. Did it really come from Israel? In fact, Jerusalem artichoke is the native of North America and it was discovered by Samuel de Champlain, founder of the “New France”. Ce brave homme (french: this brave man) was a French explorer, who founded New France and Quebec city on July 3, 1608. When he first encountered sunchokes he compared their taste to artichokes, a name that he brought back to France.But why Jerusalem then? The interesting fact is that this notion comes from Italy. Sunchokes arrived in Italy in the 17th century and the Italian word for sunflower, “girasole” meaning “turning to the sun,” was somehow later transformed into the word “Jerusalem.” This transformation, combined with Champlain’s linking taste of the vegetable to an artichoke explains origin of the name for Jerusalem artichoke. As you can see, two of the most prominent, “gourmet” countries, France and Italy stand behind what we know today as the “Jerusalem artichoke.”
Sunchokes might look like poor peasant’s food but that’s far from being true. These roots are not only delicious and versatile but they also provide a very good nutritional value. I personally like to include them into my diet because they are rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, such as thiamine, niacin, copper, potassium and iron. And, given that iron deficiency goes hand in hand with Hashimoto’s, I consider Jerusalem artichokes as one of the superfoods for the Hashimoto’s condition.
In order to consume more sunchokes, I like to make soups with them. When I worked on this Jerusalem artichoke soup I noted that addition of carrot and lemon zest makes it much more interesting. Indeed, combination of sunchokes with carrot, ginger and zesty lemon translates into the soup that will make you return for more!
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- Pinch sea salt or to taste
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 4-5 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- ½ medium lemon, juiced and zested
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- ¼ cup coconut yogurt or coconut milk
- For garnish:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ Jerusalem artichoke and ¼ carrot peeled and thinly sliced
- Few strings of fresh cilantro
- lemon zest, to taste
- Heat the coconut oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onion with a pinch of sea salt and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened.
- Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the vegetable stock, Jerusalem artichokes, carrot, lemon juice and zest, coconut aminos and fish sauce and bring the soup to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are well cooked.
- Stir in the coconut yogurt and remove from heat.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth. Adjust salt as needed.
- Now make the garnish. Heat the coconut oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the artichoke and carrot slices and cook on each side until slightly brown.
- Serve the soup topped with the garnish and freshly grated lemon zest.