Friday, December 9, 2011

Recipe: Carrot, Maple and Bacon Soup

Sounds like a reeeeeeally weird combination I guess, but when you think about it things like honey and maple syrup are used with root vegetables all the time. Honey roasted parsnips or carrots are of course, a very popular dish at Christmas. So I thought I would try and see whether maple syrup and carrots compliment eachother, and it worked out really really well! I then thought, this soup is quite sweet, so it needs something salty to set it off- and then I remembered Americans love putting maple syrup on their bacon and pancakes at breakfast, so I thought that would make a good garnish. In some supermarkets you can actually get "maple cured bacon" as well, which is delicious too. I am entering this recipe into Love The Garden's "Christmas Carrot" recipe competition. It is a recipe competition for bloggers that ends 21st December- all you have to do is post up a carrot recipe onto your blog, mention their site, and you are end up with a chance to win a £200 dinner at any restaurant of your choice! Here is the URL, if any of you fancy going in for it!

Carrot, Maple and Bacon Soup (makes 2 large bowls) £1.06p per portion, £1.16 with bread and butter

50g butter
1 red onion, diced
1 white onion, diced
½ tsp mixed herbs
500g carrots, peeled and diced
30ml maple syrup (plus extra for drizzling)
700ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
4 thin rashers smoked bacon (or generally 2 rashers per person)

1. Sautee the onions, mixed herbs and carrots in the butter and maple syrup, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have started to caramelise.
2. Add vegetable stock and cook on a high heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to as high as possible, and cook rashers of smoky bacon on s non-stick baking tray until they go nice and crispy (this generally takes 10-15 minutes).
3. Blend the soup, add any extra water/stock if necessary to get to your desired thickness, season to taste and serve hot- garnished with crispy smoked bacon and an extra drizzle of maple syrup!

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