When times were tight, I’d go to the dollar store for groceries. On one occasion, I picked up a bag of carrots in the hopes that my two-year-old would want to have them as a healthy snack. By the end of the week, defeated by a toddler, I found myself staring blankly at a wilting bag of carrots I could not afford to waste. And so this roasted carrot soup was born. I use brown butter for nuttiness, cream to add body, and ginger and thyme to elevate the flavors. It’s so good, it got props from Chef Gordon Ramsay when I made it on MasterChef.
Is Roasting Necessary?
Roasting is what makes this soup special. It’s the greatest gift you can give a root veggie with very minimal effort. All you have to do is chop carrots and put them in an oven! As the carrots roast, they develop deeper flavors through caramelization. Don’t worry if a few of them charr, as that browning will add a nice smokiness to the finished product. Roasting also reduces the time you’ll need to keep your carrots simmering on a stove. Make sure to slice carrots evenly, so they cook at the same pace.
Boiling Instead of Simmering
Do your best to keep your soup at a simmer, not a boil. You’re looking for gentle bubbles and steam. Otherwise, you’re evaporating most of your liquid before the carrots are through cooking. Boiling soup also causes nutrient loss and destroys aromas. A gentle simmer > a raging boil. ( If you’re single, you can also apply that equation to your love life. You’re welcome.)
Can I freeze carrot soup?
Yes, you can freeze carrot soup. Make sure to freeze it in individual portions, as you should only thaw it once. It should keep for up to three months. After that, you can thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it in a pot over low heat, or pop the individual portion into a microwave straight from the freezer—cover to avoid splatter, and cook until it’s steaming.
What can I serve with carrot soup?
This soup is very filling, but it also pairs well with these fantastic recipes:
- Spinach Feta Grilled Cheese
- Crunchy Kale Chicken Salad
- Lemon Pepper Chicken With Orzo
- How To Make A Frittata
- 2 lbs carrots ($1.49)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.12)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
- 4 Tbsp salted butter ($0.50)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.65)
- 1 tsp thyme ($0.10)
- 3 cups water ($0.00)
- 3 cups chicken broth ($0.36)
- 1 cup heavy cream ($1.12)
- 2 tsp fresh ginger ($0.21)
- 2 sprigs Italian parsley (optional) ($0.05)
- 4 Tbsp sour cream (optional) ($0.08)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Clean the carrots and cut them into 1/4 inch rounds. Add them to a sheet pan, then drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast the carrots at 400°F for about 35 minutes until they have softened and begun to caramelize.
- While the carrots roast, dice the onions. Add the butter to a large Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until it foams and the milk solids start to brown. Turn off the heat, add the thyme and cook for one minute, to infuse the butter.
- Turn the heat to medium and cook the onions in the browned butter until the onions are translucent, about two minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, ginger, and water. Cover and leave the lid slightly ajar. Simmer until carrots are done. Do not boil, as the cream will curdle.
- When the carrots have begun to caramelize, take them out of the oven.
- Add the carrots to the chicken broth. Cook uncovered until carrots easily fall apart when pressed by a fork. There is no exact time for this, but it will be anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the age of the carrots, how thick you cut them, how long you roasted them, and the cook temp of your soup.
- Add soup to a blender, Take the center cap off of your blender lid and cover with a towel. Blend in two batches and puree.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a few leaves of Italian parsley
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How to Make Carrot Soup – Step by Step Photos
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Peel the 2 pounds of carrots and cut them into 1/4 inch rounds. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Roast the carrots at 400°F for about 35 minutes until they have softened and caramelized.
While the carrots roast, dice the onion. Add 4 tablespoons of salted butter to a Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until it foams and the milk solids start to brown. Add 1 teaspoon of thyme and let it cook for a minute.
Add the diced onion to the browned butter and thyme. Cook the onion until they are translucent, about two minutes.
Add 3 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of heavy cream, 2 teaspoons of ginger and 3 cups of water. Scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger. Cover and simmer with the lid on until the carrots are ready. It’s important that you not boil the soup, as the cream will curdle.
Once the carrots have started to caramelize, take them out of the oven.
Add the roasted carrots to the chicken broth mixture. Simmer until they soften so much they fall apart easily when pressed by a fork. There is no exact time for this, but it will be anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the age of the carrots, how thick you cut them, how long you roasted them, and whether you simmer or boil your soup.
Before blending the soup, remove the center cap off of your lid and cover the hole with a kitchen towel. This prevents steam from building up and blowing the lid off your blender. Add half of the soup to the blender and puree. Repeat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like to garnish your soup, try it with a dollop of sour cream, some Italian parsley, and black pepper.