So I screwed up the other day when buying ingredients for soup and ended up buying burdock root (also called gobo). It is the root of a thistle plant. According to wikipedia it has a “very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienne/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes.” Doesn’t sound too appealing but with further digging I found that often it is soaked in lemon juice because the root when cut, peeled, or shredded browns extremely quickly. Not wanting to throw it away I used it in the soup. So here things go.
3 gobos (Burdock Root)
1 medium purple onion diced
6 russet potatoes baking size (give or take), cut into about 1″ chunks
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 lemon (for lemon juice)
course ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter (or vegan buttery spread)
Cut the lemon in half and juice 1-half of the lemon in a bowl. Peel and dice the gobo, then soak in the lemon juice. In a large pot over medium heat heat and melt the butter. Once heated saute the gobo and onion until tender (about 5-7 minutes). Add the vegetable stock, turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the potatoes, lower to a simmer, and cook potatoes until tender (about 20 or so minutes). Once cooked add the course ground black pepper, salt, and basil flakes. This is to your taste as a guide I fill up my palm with each one (about 1.5 tablespoons maybe). Squeeze the remainder of the lemon juice into the pot. Mash/puree the soup to a consistency of your liking. I used a potato masher in lieu of our emersion blender and things worked out fine.
I tasted the gobo while it was sauteing, it had a light earthy flavor that mixed really well with the onion and lemon juice. It seems like it would be a great slightly crisp/crunchy ingredient to add to a stir fry. Also, apparently burdock root has a slew of traditional medicinal uses from burn treatment to diuretic to blood purifier to scalp oil. So perhaps this soup recipe may prevent male pattern baldness. So eat up and enjoy my fellow aging balding friends and fight back that receding hairline!