Sunchoke Soup, Kale & Brown Rice Couscous

Sunchoke Soup & Kale-Brown Rice Couscous

Can I again tell you how much I LOVE sunchokes?  I don’t know what it is about the flavor but this is one of my favorite foods!  I am not a potato fan and these are the perfect substitute.  Earthy and light!  I made a soup using 1.5 lbs of local sunchokes.  I bought them at the last farmer’s market and they have been sitting in my fridge waiting for some inspiration.  Luckily they store beautifully in a plastic bag (as long as there is no moisture inside).  I wanted a strong sunchoke flavor so I let the soup stand alone and made some kale and brown rice couscous to go on the side.  Tastee tastee!

  • Sunchokes, 1.5 lbs
  • Cipollini Onions
  • Thyme, ~1/2 t
  • S&P
  • Chicken Broth, 1 qt
  • Bay Leaf
  • Truffle Oil (optional)
  • Butter, substitute olive oil for vegan soup
  • Lacianato Kale
  • Brown Rice Couscous
  • White Wine, a splash or two
  • Pecorino Romano

I made this soup mid afternoon to be reheated for dinner.  It’s super quick and easy!

Cleaned Sunchokes (about 1/3 of a lb pictured here)

1. Wash sunchokes.  This can be a bit of a task but well worth it.  I use a one of those green scrub pads which takes off any loose skin and all the dirt.  There is no need to peel sunchokes.  (When buying sunchokes I look for ones that don’t have a million knobs on them so they are easier to clean.)

Cipollini Onions

2. Chop cipollini onions.  I love these onions but you can substitute shallot or leek if desired.

Onions and Butter

3. In a pot melt some butter and add the onion.  I used butter since it’s winter and why not?

Sunchokes and Spices Added

4. While the onions start to cook chop sunchokes into 1″ chunks.  Sunchokes turn brown once exposed to the air so don’t cut them until right before they go into the pot.  Add a pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper, 1 bay leaf, thyme, and quart of chicken broth.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer.  Cook until sunchokes are fork tender.  This took about 10 minutes for me.

Blended Soup

5. Once sunchokes are tender, blend soup using an immersion blender.  I just want to say how glad I am to have purchased an immersion blender this summer.  In the past I have always used my regular blender, blending any soup I make in batches.  The immersion blender is SO MUCH BETTER.  It’s more efficient and the texture is superior.  Mine only cost me $30, go get one!

— Once blended I covered and let cool on the stovetop until dinner hour —

Lacianato Kale

6. Prepare Kale.  Strip the leaves off the stems and discard stems.  Chop kale into 1″ strips and wash thoroughly.

Washed and Chopped Kale

7. Cook brown rice couscous according to box.

Kale

8. In a skillet heat up some butter, I would have preferred olive oil but we forgot to buy more at the supermarket this weekend.  Add kale.  Cook over medium-low heat.  Add two splashes of white wine and leave the kale to cook, stirring often.  Kale can be bitter which is why I used some wine and also why I let it cook down for a bit.

Brown Rice Couscous Added to Kale

9. Once the brown rice couscous is cooked, fluff and add to the kale.  Toss well.  Serve with fresh grated pecorino romano.

10. Reheat sunchoke soup and serve.  Top each bowl with a bit of truffle oil.  I have been wanting to buy a small bottle of truffle oil to add a little flare to dishes like this, so I went for it.  It’s expensive but you only need a drizzle at a time.  If you do decide to buy some read the ingredients.  There are a handful of brands who use truffle flavor instead of real truffles.

** After soup is blended you can always add a bit of cream if that’s your style.  In my opinion no cream was needed at all.  The texture and consistency of the soup was perfect.  The sunchoke flavor comes on strong, but if you enjoy sunchoke flavor you’ll be sure to enjoy this soup!

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