Everywhere in Paris, soup garnishes are arranged on the soup plate and the liquid is poured over at the table. It’s an easy, elegant way to serve this soup, inspired by the hearty food at Semilla, another modern bistro.
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
500 grams (1 pound) Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper (preferably white pepper)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 jumbo scallops
Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add Jerusalem artichokes and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until artichokes are very tender.
Purée soup using a hand-held blender or food processor until smooth. Return soup to pot, add cream and season with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops and sear 3 minutes or until deep brown. Turn over and then slide skillet off the heat, leaving scallops in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Scallops need another 2 minutes to finish cooking but will also hold for another 5 minutes, if soup is not yet ready. Pour soup over plated scallops.
Suggested Wine Pairings
A white Burgundy would make a fine Paris match. Slightly creamy and often with an earthy mineral tang, France’s finest chardonnays possess the texture and flavours to dance a pas de deux here. A simple and affordable Macon would be nice, though a higher-end Puligny-Montrachet or Meursault would give these dishes the regal touch. Non-French alternatives: Oregon or British Columbia pinot gris. If you prefer red, try an earthy red Burgundy (a.k.a. pinot noir), with its resonant root-vegetable beet note. - Beppi Crosariol