Friday, 9 December 2011

Maple glazed carrot, goats cheese & pancetta soup

6 carrots, 1 pint vegetable stock, 200g pancetta, maple syrup, olive oil, 100g goats cheese, 1 onion.
Serves: 4 Preparation: 1 hour

I love soup. I find all the chopping, stirring and pureeing very soothing, the warm smells that fill the house and I love ladling out steamy bowls of soup for people to dunk hot crispy bread into, dressing it with ever more creative croutons or swirls of cream and yoghurt. This winter I have created 10 new soups to warm you through on a cold day. This soup is sweet and tangy with a gloriously smooth texture.

1) Peel and finely dice the onion then allow to soften in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil.

Peel and slice the carrots into fine chunks, discarding the tops and tails. Add into a roasting dish with a slosh of maple syrup, olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, ensuring that the carrots are all covered evenly.

3) Roast for 20 minutes at 200 degrees, stirring after 10 and then add to the onions along with the vegetable stock.

4) Allow to simmer for 10 minutes before straining the carrots and onions (do not discard the stock) and pureeing in a blender until completely smooth. Pass the vegetables through a seive and stir back into the stock.

5) Allow to simmer on the hob for a further 10 minutes, adding the pancetta and goats cheese for the last 5, seasoning to taste with freshly ground black pepper and salt.

I like to add half of the goats cheese (discarding the rind) and stir through the soup, then dress the soup with a good chunk of goats cheese before serving.

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