Carrot Soup Recipe

A simple, weeknight carrot soup recipe finished with a thread of toasted sesame oil. You can leave it slightly chunky, or puree it until smooth - whatever your preference.

Carrot Soup

March was a bit of a whirlwind. The entire month went by in a blur of planes, trains, friends, and house guests. That's a round-about way of saying, I'm still trying to get my head above water. My suitcase has been on the floor in the middle of our bedroom since Saturday, still fully packed. My in-box is an embarrassment. To say I've been keeping it simple in the kitchen is an understatement. This basic carrot soup for example - I threw it together the other night using the best carrots I could find at the market and not much else. It's easy enough to make on a weeknight, and instead of getting complicated on the front end of a soup like this, I typically let any creative whims come into play just before serving. In this case I drizzled the finished soup with a potent thread of toasted sesame oil, other times I've used a fiery olive oil infused with crushed red pepper flakes, another time a thinned-out oregano pesto. You can leave it slightly chunky, or puree it until smooth - whatever your preference.

Carrot Soup Recipe

As many of you already know, I'm not one for making more work than necessary in the kitchen. And as long as we are confessing, I don't usually bother peeling carrots. If they are particularly dirty or have skin thicker or rougher than I like, I just give them a good scrub with the rough side of a sponge. It acts like a loofah, and usually does the trick.

If you like more crunch or texture in your soup try pan-fried paneer or halloumi cubes in this soup - in place of croutons. I like croutons too, and did a bowl with lots of garlicky croutons and chopped up fried egg the other day. No one was complaining.

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Carrot Soup Recipe

I typically seek out "early" carrots with the bushy green tops still on. The leaves should be fresh and not wilted, and the carrots should have vibrant color. If they feel rubbery, pass on them. I pass on bagged carrots or the big, woody ones - the early carrots often have a much sweeter flavor.

1 1/4 pounds carrots
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cups+ vegetable stock or water
juice of 1/2 a lemon
fine grain sea salt (as much as you need)

- olive oil, toasted sesame oil, or red chile oil for a finishing drizzle - if you use toasted sesame oil (sometimes labeled pure sesame oil) it is very strong. I typically dilute it with olive oil. I use one part sesame oil to four parts olive oil.

Take the tops off the carrots (if they have tops) and give them a good scrub. Cut them into 1-inch segments and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Add the stock and carrots and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender - longer if your carrot pieces ended up larger. But try not to overcook. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.

Puree with a hand blender (sometimes I leave the soup a bit chunky, other times I go completely smooth) - then stir in the lemon juice. Now salt to taste. If you used a salty veggie stock, you might just need a little salt. If you used water, you'll need quite a bit more. Keep adding a few pinches at a time until the carrot flavor really pops. If it tastes flat or dull, keep adding.

Finish with a drizzle of great extra-virgin olive oil, one of the other drizzles I mention up above, or whatever twist you come up with.

Serves about 4.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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This looks amazing! Can't wait to try it this weekend.


When I was into macrobiotics I stopped peeling carrots, like your suggestion. What freedom!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Carrots need very little to be delicious in soup. Fresh carrots are so sweet and tasty.

Trreehouse Chef

Yep....I too make a similar soup. And at the end of every week and before the next 'fresh veggies' shopping I clear out the 'bin' and make soups. Most often carrots find their way into the soup, sometimes even making a solo experience..grin. I like to add a bit of cauliflower for more texture.


I have never thought to add lemon to my carrot soup. I always go the carrot ginger way. Going to try this.

Meghan at Making Love In The Kitchen

I have never thought to add lemon to my carrot soup. I always go the carrot ginger way. Going to try this.

Meghan at Making Love In The Kitchen

Anther great spring soup is a creamy spring pea soup - I picked up the recipe from Susan Hermann Loomis at her cooking school in France and will be cooking it tonight for a cooking dinner party. I plan to post it on my site tomorrow - after I polish off the leftovers for lunch!

Michele Morris

Sounds like it'd be awesome pureed too :)


I love carrots, love carrot soup, and any thing made with carrots. I never peeled my carrots for years and for some reason decided to peel them one day. The carrot dish was much sweeter so I have always peeled them since. I like shortcuts also, but peeling the carrots is worth the extra step.


I love, love, love carrot soup! I haven't had any in ages -- you've inspired me :)


For an ever deeper carrot flavour start by sauteeing the carrots (in olive oil or butter ghee) until they are halfway soft then proceed with the recipe as above.

Erwin Heiser

I make a similar carrot based soup quite often as I am a student and like to eat simple healthy soups that don't take much time. Some variations I also have enjoyed are by throwing in a whole anise star and grated ginger in the saute phase...or I've added a tomato (or two) until they fall apart then add a little curry powder.


Thank you so much for this! Here in Finland, where the snow is still melting, nothing is in season yet and my root veggie inspiration has been running out. On that note, I tried your Rustic Cabbage Soup last week and LOVED it. This one's next on the list!


This sounds amazing, and I can even make it in Korea (which basically means "yay, they have carrots in Korea!")! Awesome, doing it tonight. Man, I love your blog so much.


I must have my carrots everyday, and this looks like a lovely new way to enjoy them! Thanks for the recipe idea.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie

Sounds good! We are getting some great carrots in our CSA box right now, so I'll have to try this one.


Of all the vegetables, carrots are my least favorite. The cooked version, that is. I love raw carrots. However, your post has talked me into putting this on my "to try" list.


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