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Jerusalem artichoke cream soup

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For 4 people: 50 g brown mushrooms, 2 tbsp butter, 500 g Jerusalem artichokes, ¾ l chicken stock, juice of ½ lemon, 1 sprig tarragon, 150 g whipping cream.

Finely dice the (preferably dry) cleaned mushrooms and fry them vigorously in the hot butter, then salt and pepper them and set them aside. Boil the Jerusalem artichokes like jacket potatoes in salted water, peel, dice and set aside. Simmer the chicken stock with the lemon juice and tarragon for 10 minutes and remove the tarragon. Puree the Jerusalem artichoke cubes with the stock (shredding stick), bring to the boil with the cream, season to taste, pour into the plates and sprinkle with the mushrooms.

 

Topinambur: You can never get rid of them!

In the 3rd generation, the family manages the farm in the old village center, right next to the church. Its half-timbered gatehouse, built around 1760, is a pretty eye-catcher. And it is doing well, also economically. Gerhard Heinrich, who together with his wife Elvira is in charge of the Quellenhof today, initially thought it would be better to study electrical engineering, as the family did not consider the farm, with only ten hectares of arable land, to be a secure livelihood. Since 1984, however, the Heinrich family has been farming biodynamically according to the guidelines of the DEMETER Association, and now on sixteen hectares. Although this does not make the Quellenhof a large farm by any means, it is impressively diverse.

There are several varieties of potatoes, wheat, rye and spelt are grown, not to mention amaranth. There are berry bushes and fruit, especially apple juice and wine from the fruit of the more than two hundred high trunks. Fodder for the cattle must also be grown, of course, mostly a mixture of oats and peas and clover grass. The meat of the cattle is available by advance order in a package. And vegetables. Even if only half a hectare is available for this, practically everything there is thrives there, says Gerhard Heinrich.

Even Jerusalem artichoke can be found, one of those "forgotten vegetables" that Gabriele Redden's book of the same name is about, from which today's recipe is also taken. Jerusalem artichoke, also called earth artichoke, has its original home in North America, although it bears the name of an Indian tribe in Brazil. It was given this name in France, where the tuber, which is related to the sunflower, played a not insignificant role in the 18th century until it was overrun by the potato. With us it has only in North Baden a certain meaning, where one knows it to burn a tasty liquor from it.

Topinambur can be eaten also raw, then it tastes like salad hearts, explains Gerhard Heinrich. Steamed it reminds of artichokes, cooked of sweet potatoes and deep-fried of chestnuts. It is also winterproof, valuable for diabetics, and the plants, which can grow to a height of two metres, also bear beautiful, yellow-coloured flowers.

This interesting range is offset by the small size of the tubers, their jagged shape and the tendency of the plant to spread unchecked. If you want to plant it (which is unproblematic), choose a separate spot for it and heed Henry's warning: "You'll never get rid of it!". If you still dare, you can dig up the tubers from October to March and enrich your kitchen with them anytime. Not just with topinamur cream soup, but that tastes especially delicious.

 

Source yard (DEMETER)

Heinrich family

Kirchgasse 9

61449 Steinbach am Taunus

Tel.: 06171-78458, Fax: 983090

Homepage: <link http: www.quellenhof.net _blank>www.quellenhof.net

from Waldemar Thomas

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