15 Minutes of Fame, Sunchokes and Soup!

Look Ma, I’m famous!

In 2010 I was approached by a colleague to write a recipe for a cookbook that Didi Emmons was working on. Didi is a prolific cookbook author, caterer, and personal chef.

The book’s concept revolved around the amazing Eva Sommaripa, owner of Eva’s Garden in South Dartmouth and all that she grew on her 3-acre farm. Everything she produces is magical – she’s an organic farmer beloved by chefs, catering to Boston-area restaurants and Whole Foods.

What an opportunity! Of course I said yes. I was excited to work with Didi and Eva – but what to create? I wanted to share a recipe that would honor Eva’s Garden.

I decided on Sunchoke Bisque, a seasonal favorite at the restaurant where I worked. I often sourced sunchokes from Eva, straight from the earth and still clinging to a considerable amount of dirt. When the book finally came out I could say “Look ma, I’m famous!”

Sunchokes and Soup

A sunchoke, also known as a Jerusalem artichoke, is a tubular-shaped, thin-skinned root vegetable or rhizome, part of the sunflower plant family. Instead of eating the seeds as you do with sunflowers, you eat the knobby bulbous tuber that looks similar to ginger.

Sunchokes are earthy, sweet, and have a nutty quality. They are similar in taste and texture to a potato but less starchy and they can be eaten raw as well as pickled, roasted, pureed – basically, anything you can do with a potato can be done with a sunchoke. They’re thin-skinned so no need to peel, just wash thoroughly. They’re good for you too, a good source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as potassium and iron.

I’m excited to share my recipe with you as well. It’s simple to make and is always a crowd pleaser.

You can kick it up with a bit of spice, top it with some roasted mushrooms or chestnuts, or just a quick swirl of good olive oil. You won’t be disappointed.

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