Sunchoke and Saffron: The Sunniest Soup


After over a week of snow and now rain, it has not been so pleasant outside here. I am a lover of the snow and rain, but it was time to see the sun. Since it clearly wasn’t appearing outside, I decided to make the sunniest soup I could: Sunchoke and Saffron. While yellow is not always the most appealing color for food, this soup, with its symbolic suggestion of solar warmth, was the exception to the rule.

Despite my effort to represent the summer season in this dish, I still wanted a soup I would want to eat now, in the depths of winter, so I kept the dish heavy–though at the last minute decided to eliminate the cream, since it was quite thick and rustic even without it.

I had never worked with sunchokes before–or saffron, really, except that they sounded cool and sunny and the saffron is cheap at the store by my house, so in they went to the soup. I’m sure there are probably more flavorful ways to use the sunchokes, but I kept looking at them and researching and nothing seemed much more delicious than this.

Sunchoke and Saffron Soup

Turkey or other poultry stock
1 lb sunchoke
1 teaspoon ground saffron
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 shallots
4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

To begin, I left the skin on the sunchoke, which is why you can see the rustic brown bits floating in the soup. For a more formal soup, you can peel them before chopping them into smallish (1 inch or so) pieces. Sautee the shallots and garlic in the oil until they start to turn translucent, then add the chopped sunchokes. Continue sautéing until the oil is mostly absorbed into the sunchokes. Add in the enough stock to cover all the sunchokes and dump in the saffron and thyme. Once boiling, bring it back down to a simmer and let simmer for a full hour to bring out all the flavors. Blend the soup, salt and pepper to taste and you are ready to go. Again, if you are looking for a less rustic version, simply strain at this point.

Enjoy the sunny soup!


One Response

  1. If you like saffron, you will love this rigatoni with braised chicken and saffron cream. It is unbelievable.

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