Velouté de topinambours(Jerusalem artichokes)

I love topinambour, for their quirky shapes as well as their earthy smell and somewhat different, slightly sweet taste.  Delicious are they in a cocotte or pureed as a side dish and just as wonderful are they as a soup. Unlike a chunky vegetable soup or earthy legume soup, we rarely have only a creamy soup for dinner. I don’t find it substantial enough, unless you eat a huge bowl or two, which makes it too rich. So I’ll normally serve this soup as a starter and then follow up with something like maybe a warm salad or chicken filet with a tomato sauce.

See also Zlamushcka’s version of a topinambour soup.


Velouté de topinambours(Jerusalem artichokes)

  • About 400 g topinambours
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 750 ml organic vegetable stock(or chicken stock)
  • 1 bouquet garni(parsley stems, thyme, bay leaves & lemon peel wrapped and tied in the green part of a leek)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cream to add to taste(milk for a lighter version)
  •  a drop or two of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Peel the topinambours and the sweet potato and cut into slices.
  2. Peel, chop the shallots and sauté in some olive oil until translucent.
  3. Add the sliced the stweet potato, topinambours, the stock, the bouquet garni and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes or longer. The topinambours needs to be well cooked and very tender.
  4. Take off the heat, remove the bouquet garni and mix until smooth and velvety, adding milk or cream to your preferred consistency.
  5. Heat up gently, add some lemon juice and salt and papper to taste.
  6. Serve in warmed bowls and finish off with a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil and a a turn of the pepper mill.
  7. Serve warm with toasted bread triangles or a grainy baguette.

                                                                               Serves 4 – 6

This is an entry for WHB nr 111, hosted by Kalyn at Kalyn’s kitchen. For more info on weekend herb blogging read here.



A beautiful table


A beautifully set table makes all the difference to a meal. Our good friends are leaving for Australia to visit their children for Christmas and we shared a lovely lunch this past weekend at their beautiful home in the French country side…saying our thanks for this year, our goodbyes as well as just sharing good home cooked food.

I present to you her gorgeous table.



A cocktail was made by another friend, Carol, perfect to start our afternoon off with….Tequila sunrise: Mix about 3 parts of orange juice to 1 part of Tequila. Slowly pour in some grenadine to have it sink to the bottom and serve with a slice of lime or lemon, or dip the glass rim in lime and sugar.


The demand was high for comfort food, so that was the menu for this sunny winter’s afternoon. Starting off with the Tequila sunrise got us into the mood to continue with a goat’s cheese amuse bouche in Joanna’s pretty rose coloured glasses.

Take some soft goats’ cheese, and roll into balls. Keep refrigerated until needed. Finely chop some black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, basil leaves. Add some olive oil,  syrupy balsamic vinegar, a dash of lemon juice and some grated lemon rind. Mix it all together. Place a spoonful of olive mixture in a pretty glass, top with a goats’ cheese ball and finish off with a sprinkling of the olive mixture, a drizzle of olive oil and a small basil leaf. No quantities are given…taste as you go along and add or leave out as your taste-buds dictate. Adapted from a recipe of Sharon.


Then we followed up with a carrot and pineapple soup, lingered over heartwarming, old fashioned shepherd’s pie, creamed spinach and roasted parsnips with rosemary and maple syrup. A great wine and enthusiastic conversation brought us to dessert; steamed ginger pudding and a pumpkin flummery with rich, voluptuous home made custard.


The end of a memorable afternoon; a fire crackling in the fireplace, music softly sounding up in the background, the sun playing frivolously on the glassware,  the intermingling of voices and laughter – like J.R.R Tolkien said: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.