Artichoke soup with ginger and walnuts

A silky, seasonal soup that manages to taste creamy and rich with only the smallest amount of butter and no cream in it.


Serves 4 - 6

2 large leeks
40g butter
4 medium sticks of celery
400g Jerusalem artichokes
1 litre of light stock or water
a small bunch of parsley

For the spice mix:

1 teaspoon coriander seed
30g shelled walnuts
a 30g lump of fresh ginger
4 teaspoons groundnut oil


Achieving the perfect results

  1. Discard the toughest of the leaves from the leeks then cut the tender white and palest green flesh into thin rounds. Rinse thoroughly under running water to remove any trapped grit then add them with the butter to a heavy saucepan. Let the leeks cook in the butter over a low to mderate heat for a good 15 to 20 minutes till they are soft enough to crush between your fingers yet without letting them colour.
  2. Once they have started to soften you can finely slice and add the celery, then peel and chop the artichokes and stir them in too. Cover the pot with a lid so the vegetables sweat and soften without colour, then pour in the the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down so that the soup bubbles gently and partially cover with the lid. It will take about 25 minutes for the artichokes to become truly tender.
  3. Grind the coriander seed to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar then add the walnuts, mashing them briefly to a pulp. Peel the ginger and slice it thinly then cut into thin matchsticks. Heat the oil in a shallow pan then fry the ginger for about 30 seconds till it is golden and crisp. Toss in the crushed walnuts and coriander, let them sizzle briefly then tip onto kitchen paper.
  4. Blitz the soup through a liquidizer or mouli, stir in the chopped parsley and check the seasoning. The soup should be mild and almost nutty tasting. Ladle into bowls and top with the ginger spice mix.

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