Jerusalem artichoke and Tomato Soup

The subtle smoky taste of artichoke is ideal for a puree soup, but the color is rather dull on its own so tomatoes are added to cheer it up. As you peel and slice the artichokes, keep a bowl of acidulated water near by to drop the artichokes into to prevent them from discoloring. Garnish the soup with crumbled grilled bacon or croutons or, for special occasion, with some fresh pink prawns.

- 700 g [½ Ib] Jerusalem artichokes
- 1 large onion, weighing about 225 g [½ lb]
- 25 g [1 oz] butter
- 225 g [1½ lb] tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- 1 garlic clove
- 850 ml [1½ pt] chicken or white stock

1 Peel and thinly slice Jerusalem artichokes. Chop the onion.

2 Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and artichokes. Cover the pan and sweat, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

3 Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes, halve and remove seeds.

4 Add tomato flesh to the pan, cover and sweat for a further 3 minutes.

5 Crush garlic and add to pan with salt and pepper. Pour on stock.

6. Bring to simmering point, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

7 reduce contents of pan to a puree using a vegetable mill, sieve or liquidizer.
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