About this recipe
Vermont maple smoked cheddar cheese has a delicate balance of smoky and nuttiness that complements the earthy and slightly nutty-sweet flavor of the Jerusalem artichokes. The soup is irresistibly creamy with a rich flavor—perfect for autumn. Serve this rustic soup with a tossed green salad and a nice crusty baguette.
2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
11⁄4 pounds Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 small red beet, trimmed, scrubbed and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1⁄2 pound sausage, preferably linguiça or chorizo, diced (see note below)
2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary leaves, plus extra for garnish
1⁄8 teaspoon toasted ground caraway seeds (optional)
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour, preferably King Arthur Organic
1⁄2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 bay leaf
11⁄2 quarts chicken stock, warmed
11⁄2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, or to taste
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 cup shredded Vermont maple smoked cheddar cheese
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and set aside. Leave the bacon drippings in the pot.
In the same pot with the bacon drippings, melt the butter over medi- um heat. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, onion, beet and carrot to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, rosemary and caraway seeds, and cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook until fra- grant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the flour and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and bay leaf and slowly whisk in the stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occa- sionally, until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice.
Transfer half of the soup to a food processor and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the stockpot with the remaining soup.
Stir in the cheese 1⁄4 cup at a time, stirring frequently, until completely melted. Slowly whisk in the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with reserved bacon and rosemary. Serve at once.
Note: Linguiça and chorizo are Portuguese-style pork sausages that can be found in many supermarkets. It should be noted that chorizo is spicier than linguiça.