Jerusalem artichoke soup with Parmesan and agresto

Sat, Mar 3, 2018, 06:00

  • Serves: 6


  • Olive oil or butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1tsp mild curry powder
  • 500g artichokes, scrubbed
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 litre water
  • For the agresto sauce: 
  • 250g walnuts
  • 2 anchovy fillets 
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 dried red chilli, chopped
  • Large bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Juice and zest of a lemon
  • 200ml olive oil


This is a great soup. With every spoonful you know it’s doing you good. You can make it vegetarian by dropping the anchovy in the sauce, and vegan by also dropping the cheese. Agresto is an Italian sauce that dates back to the Middle Ages. You’ll have some left over from this recipe, but you’ll find many uses for it. It’s full of goodness with the walnuts (brain food) and parsley (iron), so remember to use it up as a spread on bread, with lamb stew and with roasted root vegetables.

1 Heat a medium saucepan and add the oil or butter. Add the chopped onions, celery and leeks. Toss well in the oil and soften on a medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid. Let the vegetables braise for 15 minutes on a very low heat, without opening the lid.

2 Add the curry powder and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the artichokes and paprika. Toss for a couple of minutes, then add the water.

3 Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

4 Meanwhile, make the agresto paste. In a food processor roughly chop the walnuts, anchovy, garlic and dried chilli. Then stir in the parsley leaves and lemon juice and zest. Then gradually add the olive oil, stirring constantly, and season to taste.

5 When the vegetables in the soup are tender, whizz up in a blender and serve with grated Parmesan and the agresto.