I recently came home from the market with bags of salad greens and spring radishes, and realized that I had two large bags of carrots left from one of the winter markets last month. I had to make room, so everything went into the oven for soup.
What I love about making puréed soups is that you don’t necessarily need other aromatics, like onions and garlic. Adding those amps up the flavor but it’s not crucial. That’s great when you’re cooking and realize that you ran out of onions!
The basics of puréed soups are usually: aromatics (onion, garlic, celery – though you can get around this), a cooked or roasted vegetable (leftovers work great), a touch of something creamy (coconut milk, yogurt, heavy cream), and something tangy (squeeze of lemon juice). Add-ons and toppings are fun, too (herbs, seeds, avocado, a pinch of cayenne).
Carrot soup is very flexible based on dietary preferences and personal tastes. It’s easy to make it vegan by switching the dollop of yogurt or touch of cream for coconut milk. You can even do this in the slow cooker!
I’ll give you the basics and you can check out some of the myriad of variations in the links below.
- 1lb carrots, peeled
- A lemon or lime
- Stock or broth (vegetable or chicken)
- Olive oil or butter
- Plain yogurt
- Fresh herbs or other toppings for serving (optional) (parsley, cilantro, chives are good choices)
- blender or hand blender (immersion blender) (For years, I got by with just an immersion blender)
- Soup pot
- Sheet pan or Pyrex dish for oven, if you’re roasting the carrots
- Vegetable peeler
- Knife for chopping
Basically you’re going to cook the carrots (stovetop or roast), add liquid (if you roasted), and purée.
The liquid can be water, though I recommend chicken or vegetable stock. Buying canned or boxed stock can get pricey, and I rely on good-quality bouillon that comes in a jar called Better than Bouillon http://www.betterthanbouillon.com/ The grocery stores around town sell it (I usually find it in the soup/broth aisle).
Fresh chopped herbs, a spoonful of yogurt, nuts or seeds, add layers of flavors. Carrots make good partners with range of herbs and spices. If you’re looking for some variations, here are some contrasting recipe options with varied flavor profiles:
- Irish Carrot Soup (Food and Wine) – onion and potato, and lots of butter and cream
- Roasted Carrot Soup with Dukkah Spice and Yogurt (Epicurious) – pistachios, cumin, coriander, fennel, sesame
- Thai Carrot Sweet Potato Soup (Cookie and Kate, from the Oh She Glows Cookbook) – red curry and peanut, lime and cilantro!!
- Carrot Soup with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas (Smitten Kitchen) – it’s vegan!
Serve with sandwich, hearty bread or salad and you’ve got a light lunch or dinner.