Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Crispy Bacon
- 6 rashers streaky smoked bacon, cut into lardons
- 450g (1lb) Jerusalem artichokes, peeled, diced & submerged in acidulated water
- 225g (8oz) floury potatoes, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 stick celery, diced
- 115g (4oz) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon soft thyme leaves
- 1 litre (1 ¾ pints) chicken or vegetable stock
- 300ml (1/2 pint) double cream (optional)
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 handfuls baby spinach, washed
- Salt and ground black pepper
- In a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat cook the bacon until it releases some of its fat and becomes golden and crisp about 8 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside.
- Drain the artichokes and put them into the bacon fat, then add the potato, garlic, celery and half the butter. Stir to combine, add the thyme and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the potatoes start to soften.
- Add the stock and leave to simmer until the vegetables are smooth, and then pass through a fine sieve if you want a squeaky smooth soup. Return the soup to the saucepan.
- Add the cream, nutmeg and spinach and reheat, stirring, until the spinach has wilted a couple of minutes only. Fold in the remaining butter, cut in small cubes, if desired. Season to taste with a little salt and a decent amount of black pepper.
- Serve in hot bowls and scatter with the crispy bacon pieces.