Sunchoke Soup with Coffee Sauce and Goat Cheese
Source: Sachin Chopra, All Spice
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA's Market to Table program on December 1, 2012.
1 white onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 stick butter
1 sachet bouquet garni (3 sprigs of parsley, 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns)
1 pound sunchokes, thoroughly washed, peeled, and chopped, plus 2 whole washed sunchokes
1 medium white potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
⅔ cup whole coffee beans
2 pods green cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
½ cup molasses
1½ cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 shot brewed espresso
1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the butter until translucent. Add the bouquet garni, sunchokes, and potato and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock and 4 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for about 25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the heavy cream and goat cheese, mix well, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Blend the soup carefully until very creamy. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and keep hot but not boiling while preparing the garnishes.
2. Toast the coffee beans, cardamom, and cinnamon together in a sauté pan over medium heat, tossing constantly for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is fragrant. Add the molasses carefully and mix until it is reduced and coats the beans. Add the stock and white wine and simmer until it is reduced to ⅓ the original quantity. Add the espresso and mix. The remaining liquor should be thick; reduce further if necessary. Strain the sauce to remove the beans and spices.
3. In a small pot, bring some salted water to a boil. Blanch the remaining sunchokes until soft but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Plunge them into an ice water bath. When the sunchokes are cooled, cut them into ½-inch slices or fancy shapes, as desired. Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan and quickly brown the sunchokes.
4. Using a pastry brush, paint a stripe of the coffee sauce in the bottom of each soup bowl. Arrange the sunchokes in a mound in the center and sprinkle with thyme. Transfer the soup to a tureen or a large teapot. Place the garnished soup bowls in front of your guests, then ladle or pour the soup into their bowls, leaving a little of the garnish exposed, if desired.