This afternoon I spent an hour on the gym elliptical, reading my most recent Whole Living magazine, and fantasizing over the pages and pages of bright green gardening tips with corresponding fresh veggie recipes.  Thinking wistfully about the seeds I planted 8 days ago that have yet to sprout, I called my novice-turned-expert gardening friend Toya on the way home to nervously ask how often seeds should be watered and if she thought the recent winds and rains might have cruelly murdered them already.  She, ever the patient teacher, assured me they were still fine and perfectly normal to not bud yet in these cool temperatures.  So later I headed for the backyard with the watering can… and LO AND BEHOLD, THIS IS WHAT WAS THERE:

Can it be true?!?  Perhaps the first thing I’ve ever planted in my entire 27 year old life might actually grow?!  Oh goodness gracious mother of turnip, I would be so very delighted! Please, oh please gardening gods, bless the fruits of this labor!

So to celebrate in true edible style, because I was pretty much on cloud eleven after that until the stomach started rumbling, I cooked up a spring feast.  Jerusalem Artichoke (also known as sunchokes) and Leek Soup from the vegan Candle*79 cookbook.  Last weekend in Seattle for work, I had a few free hours to wander through the Pike Place Market and discovered these rustic, knobby sunchokes… had been wanting to make the soup ever since receiving the cookbook last Christmas but by then they were out of season.  I paired the soup with a salad of frisee, avocado, blueberries, blue cheese crumbles, Himalayan pink salt, and cracked pepper with a light dressing of olive oil and fig balsamic.  Both were superb!

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Crispy Sage Leaves (from the Candle*79 Cookbook)

1/4 cup evoo (i like to use coconut oil)
1 leek, white and pale green parts, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2 pounds sunchokes, peeled and rinsed
5 cups water or vegetable stock (I used stock)
1 tsp sea salt
1 TBL evoo
8 to 12 fresh sage leaves

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the leek and onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the sunchokes, water, and salt and bring to a boil.  Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer until the artichokes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool.  Transfer to a blender and process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary (I added garlic powder, because everything in the world is better with garlic).  Gently reheat before serving.

To crisp the sage leaves, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat.  Add the sage leaves and saute until just crisp, about 2 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.  Garnish each serving with a couple of the sage leaves.

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