A few years ago, our friend in Canada had made a really nice turnip and maple syrup soup. I have no idea what recipe she used, but I knew that I wanted to try make my own. If you are skeptical about turnip soup (the oft forgotten root vegetable) you won't be after trying this. The combination of maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg complimented the turnip and made it warm, creamy and comforting.
I have a lot of nice childhood memories centered around maple syrup. Being born and raised in the heart of maple syrup land, where the province of Quebec is accountable for 75% of the worlds production (according to Wikipedia). We definitely kick Vermonter's maple tree tapping butt.
I always loved the sugaring off season, which is what we call the period that maple syrup is collected (starts in February-April). The days are a bit milder, a nice and balmy 25F/-5C, in other words, not the double digit minuses (talking Celsius here) we are accustomed to. We would go to the Cabane a Sucre(Sugar shack)where we would enjoy sleigh rides and gorge our selves on fat and sugar.
The best part is having maple taffy on the snow, if you haven't gone into a diabetic comatose by that point. The bubbling nectar of the gods is poured over a fresh batch of snow, which instantly freezes, and you roll a wooden stick in the amber frozen taffy. We would have our lunch in an old wooden cabin, where the smell of wood mixed with syrup hangs in the air like a delicious perfume.
The feast would be laid out on long wooden tables, and would include bacon, sausage, pancakes, baked beans, scrambled eggs cooked in maple syrup, "oreilles de crisse" (fried strips of salt pork). Then, you might get up to dance it all off to some French songs.
Another thing I associate maple syrup with,(when combined with cinnamon and nutmeg)is French toast. For my soup today, I went out on a limb and got really innovative. I decided to make some French toast slices(using only egg and milk, no spices) and piled them on top of the creamy soup. It was a nice combination of savory and sweet, and if you're like me and love maple syrup, you can always drizzle a bit more on.
Turnip and Maple Syrup Soup, with French Toast
Source: Krystal Ford
1 lb of turnip, peeled and cubed
one potato peeled and cubed
4 cups of chicken broth
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup of maple syrup plus some for drizzling
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add turnip and potato cubes and boil until soft (around 10 minutes) Take off the heat, and blend using immersion blender. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cream. Re-heat on low just until it reaches a gentle simmer.
One piece of bread (thick if possible and leave it to dry out a bit)
Take a slice of bread and cut into three strips. Beat one egg with milk. Dip bread strips in egg mixture and fry in a frying pan with butter on high heat. Sprinkle with a bit of Kosher salt. Remove when golden on both sides.
Place the slices of French toast criss-crossed on top of the soup, and drizzle with a bit of maple syrup.