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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I made a similar carrot soup several weeks ago and topped it with balsamic--very good.


sounds great...we had a cold snap in NY earlier this week and made your roasted tomato soup - yummy! thanks :-)

nithya at hungrydesi

I'm also a fan of unpeeled carrots - beautiful, fresh, organic carrots: why peel? I usually make carrot soup something like this, or I make carrot soup with coconut milk and a little curry powder. The thought of a soup bowl with croutons and cut up fried eggs sounds delicious to me.

Deana Gunn

i just found out the greens on top of the carrotts are edible and really good for you. great for compost, too, but before they all return to dirt, add some to soups, salads, and mexican dishes. ;) I love this blog! My CSA membership always gets more exciting because of these wonderful recipes. thanks


This soup looks delicious, and as it is the fourth or fifth carrot soup I've seen around the blogs lately, I've decided that I simply must try it!


I did a carrot soup this morning too! with an orange juice and a teaspoon of curry powder... delicious!


Hmm.. I love carrots, and the recipe sounds great. I have to be honest -- the visual of the soup makes me a little dubious, though.


One of my favorite foodie moments from childhood was eating my grandfather's carrot soup. He called it cressy, and he loved sprinkling popcorn on top instead of croutons. I make it most years at Thanksgiving and I've used all sort of add-ins. Yours is very similar...his called for a good pour of cream, but in mine I like just the smallest touch. Thanks for calling forth a great memory!


That's so easy! I love soups like that when they are totally pureed and really smooth. That would be great with a grilled cheese sammy!


mmm... I love soup recipes that require only a few ingredients..and it's very frugal too. thank you!


I really appreciate that you are willing to encourage people not to peel vegetables. I think the only vegetable I regularly peel is jicama. Thank you for encouraging this practice, especially with carrots that really don't have a peel to remove. :)


Love the idea..How about adding some curry powder, and a bay leaf for a different flavor? Or, I might even try it with yellow/red thai curry paste and kaffir lime leaves... Thanks for the inspiration..


This message is to anyone who has tried it: Does it taste anything like an Indian Cuisine dish? The best carrot soup I've ever tried was Indian Cuisine; I'd love to get my hands on that recipe. Anyone have it? flower_gurl


I like the chunkiness of your soup. I make carrot soup all the time. I recently made a pumpkin carrot soup with a lot of heat that was delicious. Aren't the simple things in life the best?

Angela@Spinach Tiger

Mmm, I juste LOVE carrot soupe. However, I've tried two other versions which are just hallucinanting ! Besides from adding water, I've added brazilian or thaï "coconut milk" (the white one, not the one you drink with the coconut itself) and some fresh coriander choppend on top of it. In the second one, I add table cream or heavy cream and somme cinammon. Believe me, it's just delicious !


that's pretty darn awesome for being overwhelmed with other things...i think of carrot soup as delicious and totally comforting. it seems like a really versatile recipe too. i love that you put a squeeze of lemon in here.


"As much salt as you need" -- that's an indication of a no-nonsense, no-time-to-spare recipe. : ) I bet the lemon in this really brighten the flavor and lightens it. The first of our local markets has recently risen out of winter dormancy (not a day too soon), and though there are no carrots yet, it won't be long. Thanks for the recipe!

Becky and the Beanstock

What a gorgeous bowl of soup. I love carrots and am always on the lookout for a new way to use them.


Spectacular blog, Heidi! I applaud the non-peeling of the carrots in this recipe and the photo is great - but then again, they all are! Not enough is said about your photography, truly. I have to admit, my eye is drawn to that beautiful wood table. Simply gorgeous!


Love carrot soup, and this one looks fantastic! I always throw in some ginger and finish it with coconut milk.

Laura [What I Like]

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