"Cream of" soups get a bad rap, especially when using a puree of root or starchy vegetables that will naturally provide a thick, creamy texture (also called "body") to many soups and starches. In such a case you can simply finish the soup with a dollop of cream, soy milk, or even low-fat sour cream and get that unctuous creamy satisfaction from what is a really healthful bowl of pureed veggies.
The flavor of this fast and elegant soup, based on sunchokes which are widely available through the winter until about April, is made a bit more complex with the addition of white wine, mustard, and freshly grated nutmeg which will give the soup a delicious "What IS that spice?" appeal. Enjoy.
To learn more about sunchokes, click here.
CREAMY SUNCHOKE & CELERY SOUP
1 pound sunchokes sliced, and into a bowl of cold, acidulated water
3 cups celery stalks, diced(reserve celery leaves for garnish)
1 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth\
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 cup half-and-half or soy milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cloves of peeled garlic, minced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
In a stainless steel or enamel pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat, and sauté, onions, shallots and garlic until onions begin to become translucent. Add sunchokes and celery and cook just until sunchokes become tender.
Deglaze by pouring in the wine and scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add stock, mustard and water and bring up to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes.
In a blender purée the mixture in batches, transferring it as it is puréed to a clean pot. Stir in the half-and-half, the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat the soup over medium-low heat, stirring regularly.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving, with celery leaves.