Jerusalem Artichoke Soup and Homemade Bread

I. Love. Jerusalem Artichokes.


Why? A few reasons:


– They contain plenty of vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and potassium. Magnesium and potassium are needed in our bodies to keep our hearts healthy and to help our muscles contract when we are active. If you don’t get enough magnesium, you get cramps! Iron is needed to transport oxygen in our blood. 
– One cup of cooked Jerusalem artichoke (you can also eat them raw) will provide 2.5g (10%) of your daily required fiber intake.
– Jerusalem artichokes contain tons of inulin, a type of starch that helps keep our blood sugar level. 
– One cup of raw JA provides 70 calories vs. one cup of raw potatoes (please don’t eat them raw) which contains 107 calories. A cup of cooked JA will provide 110 calories. If you’re on a diet and crave starchy foods, go for JA!

And most importantly, they are so yummy 🙂 Even the cat likes them!

They make a really heart-warming soup, top notch comfort food if you ask me. No onions required; just vegetable stock!

Ingredients:
As many Jerusalem Artichokes as you like
1 cube of vegetable stock
water


Instructions: 
No need to peel them if you don’t want to. The BBC Food website suggests scrubbing them to get rid of most of the peel if you really want to, but keep the peel on if you want to try something different. (My mum even made soup with nothing but the peel, and it was delicious.) Dice the JA and place them in a pot, covering them with water (just enough if you want a thick soup, or quite a bit if you like a thin soup). Throw in the cube of veggie stock and let it all simmer for 15 minutes or so. 



Serve with some homemade brown bread:


Ingredients:
200g wholemeal strong bread flour
half a pack (3.5g) of easy bake yeast (I use the sachets from Allison’s)
150ml of warm water
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar (optional)


Instructions: 

With an electric mixer, or with your hands, mix the bread flour and yeast, gradually adding warm water. Warm water helps to activate the yeast. Don’t forget the salt and sugar if you like. Spray some olive oil on a clean surface; oil prevents the bread from sticking to your surface, and works better than flour, which will only toughen up your bread. Use your hands now: work the dough with the heel of your hands, rolling it diagonally to the right with your lift hand, then to the left with your right hand, and so on for about five minutes. Close your eyes–this technique is so therapeutic! When you’re done, you should have a nice, firm but soft little ball of bread dough. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for an hour, then bake in a preheated oven at 200ºC for half an hour. 


Dough before rising…



… dough after rising, twice the size.



Cut into smaller shapes to make individual mini bread rolls. 



Tea time treat, anyone?

I was going to take pretty pictures of the soup and bread together, but that didn’t happen in the end. The reason is this: on my way home from yoga class, I got lost. I ended up cycling from Old Street station to Dalston and then found my way home to Finsbury Park. Killer workout for my buns (‘scuse the pun). Upon my return home, all I could think was I NEED FOOD, FEED ME NOW. So I had my bowl of soup and ate what was left of the bread (3/4 of it–I was SO hungry) and only then realised that there was no bread left to photograph. My apologies. I really was so very hungry. And to my credit, I cycled 2 hours. And did hot yoga. That’s wayyyy over a thousand calories burned, and they needed some quick replacing.




— Clem

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