5ml sunflower oil
150g onion, roughly chopped
1kg Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and chopped
10g garlic, crushed
100ml white wine
800ml Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock, made to instructions
200ml double cream
Sea salt flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
For the croutons
15ml sunflower oil
2 thick slices of white bread, crusts removed
100g rindless smoked streaky bacon rashers, cut into 1cm pieces
20g finely chopped parsley
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan with the oil. Gently fry the onion for 10 minutes, until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and simmer to reduce.
- Add the artichokes and garlic to the onion, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the artichokes begin to soften. Don’t let them brown. Pour the stock into the pan, add a few pinches of salt and twists of black pepper. Bring to the boil, put the lid on the pan and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the artichokes are soft. Stir in the cream, return to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
- When cool enough, pour into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pan and adjust the seasoning. Add a little more cream for a slightly richer soup, or a little milk if the soup appears too thick. Reheat when needed.
- While the soup is simmering, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small non-stick frying pan. Cut the bread into small cubes and add them to the pan. Cook over a low to medium heat for 3–4 minutes, turning regularly, until the cubes are golden brown on all sides. Tip them into a bowl and return the pan to the heat. Pour the remaining oil into the pan and add the bacon. Fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon fat is golden and crisp. Put the cubes of bread back in the pan and toss them with the bacon for a minute or so. Stir in the chopped parsley. Drain onto kitchen paper and set aside.
- Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and sprinkle with the croutons to serve.