On its own, this soup is much more delicate than anything you’d usually find on the Bestia menu. But I garnish it with pickled chiles, oregano, and fried capers, adding a lot of of intensity. Thinly slicing the sunchokes helps them cook quickly, and the soup’s final texture is silky, rich, and hearty enough to be a comforting meal all by itself.
- In a bowl, combine the chiles, salt, and sugar. Toss to mix well. Transfer to a 1-quart mason jar or other airtight glass container. Cover the jar tightly with the lid and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Open the jar and add the vinegar and olive oil. Re-cover the jar tightly and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours to allow the flavors to develop before serving. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
- With a bowl of ice water next to you, slice the sunchokes very thinly on a mandoline, transferring them to the ice water as you work to keep them from oxidizing.
- In a saucepan over high heat, combine the ½ cup butter and the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Turn the heat to low, cover, and continue to cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Drain the sunchokes and add them to the pan along with 2 quarts water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the sunchokes are very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, melt the 4 tablespoons butter with the sage leaves and cook until the butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- When the sunchokes are tender, remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Using a large ladle and working carefully to avoid splattering, transfer half of the contents of the pan to a blender, along with 1/4 cup of the cream and half of the brown butter and sage leaves. Blend on high speed until completely smooth, then strain through a chinois or extra-fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining sunchoke mixture, cream, and sage butter. Stir the two batches until thoroughly combined, then stir in the salt. (The soup can be covered and refrigerated at this point for up to 3 days.) Return to the saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
- Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
- Pour vegetable oil into a small saucepan to a depth of 2 inches and preheat to 375°F. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, add the capers to the hot oil and fry until crispy, about 1 minute. Using the spoon, transfer to the prepared plate to drain.
- Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Top each with slices of pickled chile, a few fried capers, a pinch of dried oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil and serve hot.
Reprinted with permission from Bestia by Ori Menashe & Genevieve Gergis with Lesley Suter, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography credit Nicole Franzen © 2018