The hazelnuts make this soup much more interesting; I pinched the idea from the Riverford vegetables site (thank you, Jane Baxter), and added some crispy bacon for texture and umami and some celery for a grassy note.The nuts are ground and added at the end of cooking time, with the cream, when the soup is blended. I left mine with a little texture although I must admit it wasn’t by choice – I really, really need a new blender. It is so frustrating. I bought mine around 6 years ago and it wasn’t great then. It is a crime to my kitchen.
For a vegetarian soup, swapping the chicken stock for vegetable and the bacon for crispy parmesan croutons would be delicious.
Jerusalem Artichoke and Hazelnut Soup with Crispy Bacon (serves 4)
500g Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 table spoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sticks of celery, washed and sliced
900mls chicken stock
100mls single cream
6 rashers bacon
100g hazelnuts, toasted and ground
– Gently fry the onions with the celery for 5 minutes
– Add the garlic and artichokes for 30 seconds
– Add the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for around 20 minutes
– Meanwhile, grill the bacon until really crispy and chop into pieces
– Blend until smooth, then stir in the hazelnuts and cream
– Top each serving with some of the crispy bacon pieces, and a swirl of olive oil and cream if you remember!