A Jerusalem-artichoke chowder that’s a perfect warming winter soup

Our kitchen garden cook Melanie Johnson shares her recipe for Jerusalem-artichoke chowder with mussels and chive oil.

Jerusalem artichokes are in the height of their season at the moment, and Melanie Johnson’s recipe below makes the most of them.

If making a chowder is too much of an undertaking, however, these sweet nutty delights can be enjoyed in even simpler ways, such as artichoke crisps. Simply soak Jerusalem artichokes in cold water for 20 minutes to loosen any dirt, scrub and dry then slice with a mandolin on the thinnest setting.

Toss in enough olive oil to coat, season well, spread them out on the baking trays and cook in a moderately hot oven for 20 minutes or until crisped up.

The soup is more involved as you’ll see in the recipe below, but it’s a real showstopper for a dinner party to beat the January gloom.

Recipe: Jerusalem-artichoke chowder with mussels and chive oil


For the chive oil (optional)

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  • 50g chives
  • 250ml olive oil

For the chowder

  • 100g lardons
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 600g Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed clean but no need to peel
  • 100ml white wine
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 200ml single cream

For the mussels

  • 500g mussels, fresh or use vacuum packed for ease (available from supermarkets)
  • 100ml white wine, if using fresh mussels
  • Extra herbs to garnish, plus soda bread with butter to serve


Make the chive oil by simply blending the chives and oil together and then passing through muslin. Pour into a glass bottle and use within a month. This will also work for salad dressings, drizzled over risotto or, as in this recipe, for a soup. For a more intense chive flavour, you can wait a couple of days before passing through muslin.

In a large sauté pan, fry off the lardons with the rosemary and thyme until crispy, then scoop out the lardons onto a plate and reserve for the end.

Leave the herbs in the pan and add a splash of olive oil, if needed, and the diced shallot. Cook to soften and then add the garlic, chopped carrot, celery and Jerusalem artichokes. Stir everything around, cooking until slightly charred on the edges, and then pour over the white wine—cooking until almost entirely reduced—and, finally, pour in the stock. Simmer gently to cook everything until softened and then remove the herb stalks and process until you have a smooth and velvety velouté. Return the lardons to the chowder. At this stage, you can refrigerate the chowder until ready to serve, which makes it perfect for dinner parties.

If using vacuum-packed mussels (a very easy option), simply follow the packet instructions, which usually involves microwaving them for a couple of minutes. If using fresh mussels, wash them under cold water to clean, remove any beards and tap those that are open so they close. Take a large lidded pot, add the white wine and mussels to it and heat until steaming. Set a timer for 3–4 minutes and then remove the lid to reveal cooked and opened mussels. Whether vacuum packed or fresh, pour the mussels and their cooking liquid into the chowder.

Divide the chowder between bowls and serve, drizzled with chive oil, if you’ve made it, and extra herbs and soda bread.