Carrot soup is easy, creamy, tasty, and warming, thanks to roasted carrots, ginger, and cumin. It's perfect as a delicious appetizer, a healthy dinner, or to make ahead for a quick and nourishing lunch.
Serve it with crunchy croutons, crostini, or our easy focaccia bread to sop up its goodness; it's a great way to enjoy carrots or use up the ones you have left over in the fridge.
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Don't be fooled by the simple ingredients and the prejudice most of us have against humble carrots.
When made correctly, carrot soup is one of the best, tastiest soups you'll ever have. It's creamy, colorful, and, most importantly, delicious with sweet and aromatic notes.
It's a soup to enjoy when it's cold and dark outside; it'll warm your tummy and soul.
There are three essential aspects of making an excellent carrot soup:
- Roast the carrots first: roasting them in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper brings out their flavor because the high and dry oven temperatures brown and caramelize them.
- Cook the onion: get a large onion, thinly slice it, and let it cook gently in a pot or dutch oven for at least 10 minutes with extra virgin olive oil. This step builds a rich and tasty flavor base that will make your soup delicious.
- Add the right spices: carrots go particularly well with ginger and cumin. Add freshly grated ginger to transform a simple carrot soup into a delicious carrot ginger soup. Then add a pinch of cumin to take it to the next level.
You can use an immersion or a regular blender to blend the soup. We like our soup with a bit of texture, so we use an immersion blender directly into the pot.
However, if you like a velvety smooth carrot ginger soup, you can blend it in a high-speed blender for a couple of minutes.
You can use any carrots to make our carrot soup recipe. We use regular orange carrots.
Try to get good quality extra virgin olive oil. It has a better, nuttier, and fruitier taste and is also healthier than regular olive oil. In addition, it can withstand high temperatures thanks to its high antioxidant content.
We use olive oil to roast the carrots in the oven and to soften the onion. We don't use butter in this recipe.
Onion is essential in carrot soup. Pick a big one, yellow or white. We use onion to make a delicious flavor base, to which we then add the carrots.
Garlic adds depth of flavor and a mild garlic aroma. It's delicious with carrots and with the other ingredients in this soup.
We use reduced-sodium vegetable broth as the liquid component for the soup. It adds a richer flavor than plain water.
You could use chicken broth if you wanted to. However, we like to keep this recipe meat-free so anyone can enjoy it.
Fresh ginger adds a zesty flavor and warmth to this carrot soup. It is optional; you can leave it out if you don't like ginger.
Cumin and carrots are probably the best flavor match in the world, so we recommend adding a tiny bit of ground cumin to the soup.
Start with a small amount, stir, taste, and add more if you like it. Cumin is a strong spice, but it makes this soup incredible. Of course, like ginger, cumin is optional; you can leave it out if you want.
You can substitute curry powder or turmeric for cumin. Start with small amounts, taste, and add more if desired.
Salt and pepper
We recommend using sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Vinegar is optional, and we are still debating if we prefer the soup with or without it. I, Nico, like it without. Louise likes it with a splash of vinegar.
Vinegar adds a touch of acidity to the soup, which theoretically makes the other flavors pop in your mouth. So if you like poppy and slightly acidic flavors, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar to the carrot soup.
I have a problem with it because it makes the soup "colder." Not in temperature but in "mouth feel," countering the warming effect of ginger and cumin. In the end, it's down to personal preference if you want to add it or not.
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and chop the carrots, add them to the baking sheet, and season them with olive oil and salt. Toss and arrange them on a single layer with as little overlap as possible.
Bake them for about 30 minutes or until fork-tender and slightly caramelized on the surface.
Dark-brown color is equivalent to flavor, so you want to give them a good roasting.
Can you skip roasting? You can cook the chopped carrots directly in the pan with the vegetable broth. But they won't brown and caramelize, meaning you won't get all those flavor nuances from the "Maillard reaction" that happens when roasting in the oven at high temperatures.
While the carrots are roasting, chop a large onion and add it to a large pot or dutch oven with the olive oil.
Fry the onion gently for about 10 minutes or until soft, stirring often.
Add grated ginger, grated garlic, and cumin, and stir for one minute or until you smell their fragrant aroma.
Add vegetable broth, carrots, salt, and black pepper to the pot, bring the liquid to a boil and simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
Note: we do this because we want the carrots to soften up fully. Carrots are very fibrous and need a few extra minutes of cooking before blending them.
Blend the soup until you reach your desired texture and consistency, adding more broth based on your preference.
Simmer for a few more minutes until the soup is hot. Taste and adjust for salt, pepper, and spices.
If you like, add vinegar at this stage and let simmer for five more minutes.
Immersion blender: you can do so directly in the pot. It produces a soup with more texture and less velvety but delicious and wholesome, with a more rustic feel. However, if you have an enameled dutch oven, be careful because the immersion blender can scratch your pot.
Regular or high-speed blender: let the soup cool down slightly (you don't want piping hot liquid touching the plastic of your blender jug), then add it to your blender and blend until you reach your desired texture. You might have to work in batches if your blender is not big enough.
Portion the soup into bowls and serve as an appetizer, main dish, or side dish with:
- Crostini: super crusty and easy to make in 10 minutes.
- Focaccia bread with rosemary and a no-knead method.
- Croutons or air fryer croutons: ready in about 20 minutes, a lighter alternative to store-bought croutons.
- Roasted chickpeas or crispy air fryer chickpeas: a crispy and nutty addition to soups and salads.
Or garnish with fresh herbs or cream:
- Fresh thyme, chopped parsley, or cilantro.
- Red pepper flakes or a drizzle of chili oil.
- Seeds, such as pepitas, sesame, or sunflower seeds.
- A drizzle of heavy cream or dairy-free cream, a dollop of yogurt, or a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Good quality extra-virgin olive oil.
Add spices gradually: when adding cumin, curry, turmeric, or other spices, do so slowly. Add a little first; I would start with ⅛ or ¼ of a teaspoon.
Then stir and taste and add more if necessary. You won't be able to remove the spice if you add too much of it, so you want to do so a little at a time.
Roasting in the oven at a high temperature enhances the carrot flavor. Also, ginger and cumin enhance the carrot flavor.
The sweetness from softened onions, sugar, or maple syrup enhances the carrot flavor.
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead: you can make carrot soup 2 to 3 days ahead and store it in the fridge or freeze it to have it handy when needed.
Refrigerator: let carrot ginger soup cool down, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer: let it cool down completely, transfer it into a freezer-friendly container, and freeze it for up to 3 months. Don't thaw and freeze multiple times. It's best to freeze the soup in single portions in small jars if you know you are going to need single portions later on.
Thaw: defrost the soup in the refrigerator over several hours or overnight. Alternatively, thaw in the microwave.
Reheat: reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and reheat for 1 to 2 minutes. It will splash. Alternatively, reheat in a small pot on the stovetop. This way, you can adjust consistency easily by adding some water.
More Carrot Recipes
Don't know what to cook with leftover carrots? Get fresh inspiration from these easy and wholesome carrot recipes:
- Quick carrot salad: a 10-minute side salad or appetizer with creamy mustard dressing.
- Moroccan carrot and lentil salad: a great healthy lunch idea with lentils and a creamy lemon dressing.
- Easy roasted carrots with cumin, served with green dressing and tomato salsa.
- Extra moist carrot cake: single-layered, super easy to make, and with a perfect ratio of carrots, all-spice, and raisins.
For more curries, stews, and soups, check out our soups category page.
- Immersion blender or regular blender
For roasting the carrots
- 2 pounds carrots
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
For making the soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon cumin or more to taste
- 2 - 4 cups vegetable broth start with 2 cups and add more if necessary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Top it with
- homemade croutons
- roasted chickpeas
- fresh parsley or cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line baking tray with parchment paper.Peel and chop carrots, toss them with olive oil and salt, and arrange on baking tray on a single layer.
- Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until fork tender and slightly brown.
- In the meantime, warm up olive oil in a large pot, add chopped onion, and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes, stirring often.Add grated ginger, grated garlic, and cumin and fry one more minute.
- Add vegetable broth, roasted carrots, salt, and black pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow carrots to fully soften.
- Blend with an immersion blender or with a regular blender until you reach your desired texture and consistency. Add more salt, pepper, and broth if desired.
- Portion into bowls and serve with croutons or check our serving suggestions chapter above for more ideas.
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