It's true - carrots love maple syrup (and honey, and brown sugar, and anything else with a robust sweetness). So why not give those orange veggies what they want and roast them up with some maple? This soup all starts with a nice glug of the syrup and allows the chunks of carrot to soak it all up in the oven before you begin bubbling it away on the stove. But first, a word about maple syrup, and why it's actually great for your health!
While it does contain natural sugars (but they're NATURAL), maple syrup contains fewer calories and a higher concentration of minerals than honey. the two most important health benefits in maple syrup come in the form of zinc and manganese, both wonderful boosters for your immune system and your heart. Zinc specifically supports your white blood cell count, while manganese helps to lessen inflammation and support healing.
Pass the pancakes!
Or, you know, this soup. Considering it's other wonderful healthy ingredients, it can certainly warm you up on a cold day, not to mention help keep illness at bay this fall and winter. For this version, I used carrots, onion, and garlic all bought at the farmer's market and some canadian maple syrup (available pretty much everywhere) - the Brits don't know about Vermont maple syrup yet, or maybe the Vermontians are just trying to keep their syrup safe. Wise.
Carrot & Maple Soup
Serves 4-6 people
- 1 kg carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 thumb-size piece ginger root, peeled and grated
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
- 4 cups veg stock, hot
- Heat the oven to 350F. Toss the carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, olive oil, and maple syrup with some salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes until the carrot is softened and just starting to brown slightly.
- Place the carrot mixture and any cooking juices into a large pan with the vegetable stock, season and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer with a cover on for 20 minutes, or until the carrot is very tender. Using a handheld blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Add more hot water to thin. Return to the pan and reheat if necessary.
- Serve the soup in bowls with a drizzle of maple syrup on top.