Sunday, March 28, 2010

Carrot Soup

Velvety, smooth, and rich, this soup embodies these qualities without any added cream or milk. Young spring carrots tend to be much sweeter than their older siblings and I highly recommend spending a bit more money to get young carrots for this recipe. Be sure to balance the soup's sweetness with a couple healthy grinds of black pepper or prepare the ginger carrot soup variation listed below.

Carrot Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and green sections thinly sliced (one medium onion, diced can be substituted)
1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock
2 large springs of taragon
1.5-2 pounds of young carrots, scrubbed and sliced
kosher salt
Juice of one orange (~1/2 cup of freshly squeeze orange juice will work)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
freshly ground pepper

-In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
-Add 1 quart of stock, the carrots, taragon sprigs, one teaspoon of salt, and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce the heat until the soup maintains an active simmer and cook, still stirring occasionally, until the carrots are fork tender, about 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of your carrot slices).
-Remove the taragon sprig, add the orange juice, maple syrup, and last tablespoon of butter. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until it is completely smooth. Alternatively, let the mixture cool and purée soup using a blender. Please be careful when puréeing hot soup in a blender- hot soup explosions are not fun. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Variation: Omit the tarragon and add 2 tablespoons of finely grated ginger to the soup pot when the carrots are almost tender and ready to be blended.


  1. I made the carrot soup tonight and we thought it was delicious. I used the immersion blender (we wanted to have the soup right away and I was trying to avoid "hot soup explosion"), but the soup does not get as smooth as when using the regular blender (which I tried on the cooled-off remainder of the batch).

  2. Finally made this soup. It was great on a night that I needed to get a quick dinner together after walking home in the rain. I added fried sage leaves as a garnish; Silas liked it too, although he garnished his with rattlesnake venom.