The nut, a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids and other good stuff, gets top billing in this vegan-soup recipe from Gwynnett St. chef Justin Hilbert.
1 pound walnuts, chopped
1 medium white onion
5 celery stalks, leaves attached
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 1/2 tbs. for sunchokes
1 cup cold water
3 Bartlett pears
1 quart soy milk, plus extra for consistency
Sea salt to taste
1/4 pound sunchokes
4 pickled walnuts (available at Myers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In
a medium pot, cover the walnut pieces with cold water and bring to
a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and spread walnuts over
a sheet tray, toasting in oven to
a golden brown (approximately
10 minutes). Dice the onion
and the celery, reserving celery leaves for garnish. Add 1/4 cup of
olive oil to a soup pot, and cook celery and onions over a low flame
until soft (approximately
20 minutes). Add the toasted walnuts and the cold water, then boil for 3
minutes. Reduce heat,
and simmer until walnuts are soft (approximately 40 minutes).
Remove from heat, and let cool.
(1) Dice pears, reserving 1 for garnish, and add the other 2 to a blender
with the walnut mixture (blend
in batches if necessary). (2) Blend until smooth, slowly adding the soy milk.
Season with sea salt. (3) Strain contents of blender
into a bowl, discarding pulp, and
let chill over an ice bath. For garnish: Cut the sunchokes into
bite-size rounds and toss with
1½ tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast sunchokes at 400
degrees until golden brown and tender (about 10 minutes). Mince celery
and pickled walnuts and reserve. To serve: Warm soup, adding soy milk
and salt if needed. Froth with a hand
blender if desired, and garnish with warm roasted sunchokes, the
remaining diced pear, pickled walnuts, and celery leaves.