Winter is officially here and by that, I don't mean the actual season (though that is also true). Snow arrived this week, covering the grounds (which means I have to walk through mucky slush) and it's cold out. Like minus 10 degrees C cold. This type of weather is conducive to colds (the malady), which I am suffering from as we speak.
Is it spring yet?
I have been craving for stews and soups like there's no tomorrow. For weeks, I could think of nothing but chili and cornbread and had to make them to squelch the craving.
I saw some beautiful carrots at the farmers' market and knew immediately that they needed to be turned into soup. I wanted a really clean flavour for the soup - sweet and carrot-y, just like the vegetable (no curry powder please) and Heidi came to the rescue. The lemon made the soup a bit too tart for my liking so I stirred in some maple syrup to sweeten it up. Drizzle some olive and sesame oil, throw on some freshly ground black pepper and pair the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich (aged cheddar on a whole wheat sourdough bread). This really hit the spot.
Slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1 1/4 pounds carrots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Fine grain sea salt (to taste)
Maple syrup (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil and toasted sesame oil for a finishing drizzle
Take the tops off the carrots (if they have tops) and give them a good scrub. Cut them into 1-inch segments and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions and carrots and saute for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent and the carrots become slightly soft. Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender - longer if your carrot pieces ended up larger. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.
Puree with a regular blender or hand blender - then stir in the lemon juice. Salt to taste. Keep adding a few pinches at a time until the carrot flavour really pops. If the soup is too tart, add a bit of maple syrup.
Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil and freshly ground pepper.