The nutty flavor of sunchokes is the perfect base for this rich soup, especially when combined with another cool-weather favorite: earthy chanterelles. If you can’t get your hands on chanterelles, you can substitute oyster mushrooms or other wild mushrooms of your choice.
Cut all but 2 of the sunchokes into large pieces. Using a mandoline, cut the remaining 2 sunchokes into thin slices and place in a bowl of cold water until ready to serve.
In a large saucepan, cook the sunchokes, apple, and garlic in 3 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 31/2 cups water, the thyme, 3/4 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered until the sunchokes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs and add the cream. Simmer 2 minutes more. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy. Add the lemon zest and juice. Keep warm.
Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and when it starts to glisten, add the chanterelles, stirring and shaking for a few minutes until they slightly crisp and browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the sunflower seeds in a small pan. Cover with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, and boil the sunflower seeds until the water evaporates. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Top the soup with the reserved slices of sunchoke, the sautéed mushrooms, boiled sunflower seeds, and tarragon. Serve with bread.
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