Creamy Sunchoke Soup with Fried Parsnip and Mushrooms

by Jen on April 1, 2012

True to its form, the Canadian weather – that unpredictable beast – has kept us guessing once again. Which season will show up today: Winter or Spring? While it is technically springtime in the northern hemisphere, on some days it feels like the Arctic air mass just won’t leave us alone.

So, one chilly Spring afternoon, I found myself hunched over a bag of sunchokes and a pot of simmering vegetable stock, ready to make something hot and yummy for the family. This is the season of coughs and colds and all manners of infections, therefore a piping cauldron of soup didn’t seem like a terrible idea at all!

March and April is the end of sunchoke (also referred to as Jerusalem artichoke) season in Canada. In fact a tuber, sunchokes are not related to artichokes at all, but rather to sunflowers (helianthus), though they physically resemble ginger root and taste like potatoes. According to, “sunchokes are very rich in inulin, a carbohydrate linked with good intestinal health due to its probiotic (bacteria promoting) properties. These health benefits come at a price; the food can have a potent ‘wind-producing’ effect. Sunchokes also contain vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium and are a very good source of iron.”

Not worrying about the said ‘wind-producing’ effect, we went ahead with this luscious, velvety bisque.

And you know what else? If in case you do not finish your soup (or if the kids don’t like it), you can add the sunchoke purée to a cream sauce for pasta, just like we did… You get to sneak in some undercover veggies into your kids’ or your man’s pasta! Believe it or not, there’s sunchoke purée in that dish below. Awesomeness!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Creamy Sunchoke Soup with Fried Parsnip and Mushrooms
Recipe Type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Recipe from Home Made cookbook by Yvette Van Boven. Published by Fontaine Uitgevers bv, 2010.
  • 2 pounds sunchokes
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • ¾ cup white wine
  • 3⅓ cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ⅔ cup cream
  • 1 parsnip, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chili oil (optional)
  1. Peel the sunchokes, cut in equal slices, and add the lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
  2. Heat half the oil in a pan over medium low heat and add the shallots, cooking until soft.
  3. Add the sunchoke, fry briefly, and add the white wine.
  4. Reduce slightly , then add the broth.
  5. Allow to simmer on low heat until sunchoke is soft and cooked.
  6. Purée the soup in a processor or hand blender.
  7. Add the cream and stir well.
  8. Peel the parsnip and cut into thin slices.
  9. Heat the butter and reserved olive oil in a skillet and pan fry the parsnip and mushrooms until the edges turn golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Pour soup into bowls and top with the parsnips and mushrooms.
  11. Dot with chili oil (optional).

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie April 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I have never heard of sunchokes, but I do love all their relatives (distant and close). :D
Your bisque looks delicious! I could enjoy a soup like this all year round.


Jen April 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Me, too! I think soups are good all year ’round!


Sandra's Easy Cooking April 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I saw Sunchoke today at the whole foods market and was thinking what can I make with them…now I will have to try this..sounds really tasty both ways as a sauce or soup. Thanks for all the info! Great photos too!


Jen April 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I can count the number of times I’ve had sunchokes myself! I’ve had them raw in a salad, pickled, puréed, stir fried. But this is my favourite way to eat them – as a soup!


Tina Ong (@PhenomenalMama) April 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Looks divine, and just perfect for chilly weather. I love your plates and the styling (as always!)


Jen April 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Thanks, Tina! Veggie soups are always good for us :)


Suzanne April 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm

What a pretty color of soup and the presentation is so nice. Thanks for the info on sunchokes I’ve heard of them but never had them, I will look for them now.


Jen April 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Hi Suzanne, sunchokes are usually in season from October to early April – so hurry :) !


Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef April 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

I’ve only ever eaten sunchokes once and I have never seen then here in Australia. The soup and the pasta look beautiful in those photos.


Jen April 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Thanks, Maureen :) Sunchokes are native to the Americas, I believe. Not sure if it’s available in Australia.


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

Sunchokes are new to me but I can’t wait to give this a try. Plus, it’s been getting a bit cold here in LA so this soup should warm me up just right :)


Jen April 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Really? Cold in LA? What’s happening to our weather? LOL!


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts April 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I have never heard of sunchokes before, but the soup looks so pretty!


Jen April 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Thanks, Erin! Happy Monday!


Priscilla @ShesCookin April 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I’ve only cooked with sunchokes once, but you’ve given me two great ideas for the next time! The fried parsnip and mushroom topping adds a lot of flavor and texture to the soup – delicious :)


Magic of Spice April 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Love the sneak appeal! What a gorgeous soup and the pasta looks pretty scrumptious as well :)


Jen April 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Yup, my kids and hubby didn’t even notice the sneaked-in sunchokes!


Patty April 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Ive always loved the flavor of sun chokes but I don’t like peeling them;-( I sure wish I had a bowl of your soup! I love your photos, so bright and cheerful;-)


Jen April 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Oh Patty, I hear yah! The peeling part is time consuming. I hear that one can treat sunchokes like potatoes and eat the skins. But who wants skin in their soup? LOL.


Martine | Work at Home Mom Writer April 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Love, love LOVE these photos, Jen!
Is there any way to sub the sun chokes? I don’t believe I’ve seen them locally, here in the RP.


Jen April 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Hi, Martine! You can substitute with potatoes. It works just as well :)


Jean | Lemons and Anchovies April 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever made anything at home with sunchokes but I’m loving everything on your ingredient list. Plus, your pictures are so pretty. This soup is more than just a cold/cough/infection buster–it’s fit for an elegant meal.


Sarah April 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I’ve been seeing sunchokes on menus more frequently lately, and was pleased to find that they got their name from their similar flavor (not texture) to artichoke….one of my favorite foods ever. Now I’m addicted, but still haven’t cooked it myself. I might start with this soup!


Debs @ The Spanish Wok April 23, 2012 at 10:20 am

We’re having similar weather here in spain too!!!

Love your soup recipe. Not sure I’ve ever had or can indeed get sunchoke here, I’m now intrigued, thanks.

BTW You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.


Erin November 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I’ve have read that the “wind-producing” quality of the sunchoke is eliminated by boiling them with their skins on first. Not sure of the specifics, but it’s worth looking into. Excited to try this recipe!


Meg January 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm

This looks like the recipe in Homemade by Yvette van Boven, did you think to give any credit?


Kristine March 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Yum! Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Our CSA box contained all the produce needed for this and it was so easy.


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