Jerusalem Artichoke and Bacon Chowder

Jerusalem artichokes (not actually artichokes, but rather root vegetables) are perfect for spring with their artichoke-like flavour. This chowder could be puréed (if you omit the bacon) to make a creamy soup.

Serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz (125 g) peameal bacon, cut into ¾-inch dice, about 1 cup
1 cup diced onion cut into ¾-inch dice
½ cup diced celery cut into ¾-inch dice
1 lb (500 g) Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch dice
8 oz (250 g) potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp fresh thyme
5 cups chicken stock
¼ cup whipping cream
½ tsp hot pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté for 2 minutes or until lightly browned at edges. 

Add onion, celery, artichokes and potatoes, toss in fat and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly softened. Add thyme and chicken stock, bring to boil then simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Stir in cream and hot sauce, return to a simmer, then season well with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.