Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)

We tried Jerusalem Artichokes for the first time last year. They were a rip-roaring success. We plan to do it again this year. But we will not be planting them in the ground. Miss one, and you'll have sunchoke weeds for just about forever. We'll be growing them in here.

This was last year's harvest. I'm told they are good sliced thin and fried, or peeled, boiled and mashed with potato.

You can also make soup out of them. Here's one recipe:


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 pounds Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 quart chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian option, and gluten-free stock if cooking gluten-free)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


1 Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat and cook the onions and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown them. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt.
2 Add the jerusalem artichokes and the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, until the jerusalem artichokes begin to break down, 45 minutes to an hour.
3 Using an immersion blender or upright blender, purée the soup. If using an upright blender, fill the blender bowl up only to a third of capacity at a time, if the soup is hot, and hold down the lid while blending. Alternately, you can push the soup through the finest grate on a food mill, or push it through a sturdy sieve. Add salt to taste.
Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper to serve.
Yield: Serves 4.


  1. Do you start them from seed or a 'choke piece, like spuds?

    Are they the sort of thing one finds at the local feed store, big box, or does one order them online?

    I have it on good authority that sunchokes provide delightful forage for bees when allowed to bloom, providing both much nectar and a good source of pollen.

  2. Ours seed 'chokes came from the Farmer's Market. We planted chunks and let 'em run (and run, they did!) They did bloom, and made local bees very happy.

    We're hoping to persuade a mutual friend to indulge in bee-craft, and to locate a hive on our property. We think it could do well by all parties involved.